2ND UPDATE: CBS maintains that Fox wasn’t blindsided by the network’s decision to reject The Three Stooges commercial that parodies prescription drugs, and the a spokesman said the network aired “alternative creative’ for the movie, and that those spots ran during earlier rounds of the tournament. The network says now that no spot was purchased for the championship game. Here is the chronology from a source I trust. Fox submitted the Stoogesta ad on March 22, and CBS accepted it. The following day, the network higher ups changed course and rejected the ad, using the explanation I provided in the original story. I’m told other ads the network refers to that ran in early rounds of the tournament were 15 second spots, and had nothing to do with the commercial that CBS rejected. It was only the Stoogesta spot that Fox submitted to CBS so that it could air during tonight’s title game. As I reported earlier, Fox did not replace that with another ad and that’s why the movie did not advertise during the championship game.
UPDATE: Despite what my sources tell me, CBS says that the ad that was turned down had been intended to air during earlier NCAA rounds, not before tonight’s championship game, and was replaced by alternative Three Stooges spots.
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox just got an eye poke from CBS after the network rejected a 30-second spot for its upcoming movie The Three Stooges after the studio submitted the commercial to air during tonight’s NCAA Basketball title game. Fox booked the spot, and didn’t have enough time to pull together another one so the film will be a late scratch for tonight’s game. I’m told that the network just informed the studio that the spot, called Stoogesta, was rejected “due to the making light of prescription drug ads.” It’s too bad, as the spot is one of the funnier ones the studio has generated for the film. The harmless nature of the ad makes me wonder who’s being the Stooge here, and also shows how seriously the network takes all that advertising coming from the pharmaceutical industry. Here is the rejected spot: