My book, "Beer, Blood and Cornmeal," makes its network television debut as a piece of set decoration on the NBC series "Parenthood" in the lower left corner of the screen.
Three minutes in. Bonnie Bedilia as Camille Braverman is standing in front of a bookcase. I can't make out the spines of the books even with a 45" Zenith Plasma TV. There are a couple of black books with white lettering. I don't think that any of them are "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal" though. I can spot my 2008 punk-wrestling memoir on the bottom shelf of the sports entertainment section from across a crowded Barnes & Noble. I could definitely spot it on Camille Braverman's bookshelf.
Last month, I got an email from ECW Press publicist Simon Ware telling me that my book will be "used as permanent background set dressing in the NBC series 'Parenthood,'" starting with season 2, episode 14. This episode was supposed to air last week, but was preempted for the State of the Union address.
We're 11-minutes in. Bonnie Bedelia is reading a book, but it's a hard cover. My book is a trade paperback. Damn it.
Eight minutes later. Amber and Haddie, two teens, are unpacking. Haddie has been exiled from her parents' home because she's dating a 19-year old. The camera pans out into the hallway. There's a bookcase or some kind of table in the hallway. Saints be praised! Clearly visible on the shelf is a copy of "Beer, Blood and Cornmeal." They don't just show it once, but twice, with the NBC Peacock right next to it. Thank you cinematographer David J. Miller for getting my book into the frame. I owe you a beer or ten.
I don't know why the producers of "Parenthood" chose to put my book on the shelf in the Braverman family's hallway. Maybe art director Susan Alegria or art department coordinator Charlene Blanco Agabao read the book and liked it. (Thanks to both of you by the way.) Maybe they or somebody else working for True Jack Productions thought that the cover picture of The Cruiser rolling up Macho Sasquatcho for a pinfall was just what they needed to add a sense of danger to the Braverman hallway. The show takes place in Berkeley so they could think that this what people in the East Bay are reading these days. (Hopefully it'll start a trend.) But then again, maybe this is just the kind of stick-to-your-ribs rasslin tell-all that hard-headed Bravermans like Zeek and Camille like to sink their teeth into.
At the thirty-nine minute mark Adam Braverman (Peter Krause from "Six Feet Under") gets high from a THC loaded lollipop. Shortly after, Kristina Braverman (Monica Potter) and Bonnie Bedelia have a heart to heart on the porch. "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal" isn't seen again, but maybe next week Craig T. Nelson will crack it open for the cameras. This would be rad because not only was Nelson in "Poltergeist," but he got killed by vampires in both "Scream Blacula Scream" and "The Return of Count Yorga" back in the 1970s. One thing is certain though; I'll be watching every episode of "Parenthood" until Craig T. chucks my book into a bonfire.
UPDATE: You can actually watch the episode with my book in on NBC.com. Will wonders ever cease? "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal" makes its appearance at the 19-minute mark with commercials, so it probably shows up after 16 minutes or so here. Enjoy...