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We are not unmentionable, we are TiVo

With the help of PR pros Rogers & Cowan, TiVo was looking to make some hay out of its showing at the Emmy awards this week. And with some reason.

It may have been a watershed moment for the iconic DVR.

While NBC apologized to stations and viewers for its "plane crash" Emmy opening, TiVo, in a press release that caught my attention for the mention in the headline of a transcendalist poet, apologized to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Why? Conan O'Brien's schtick on the show included a riff on TiVo in which he pretended to read from the works of the great if sometimes "abstract and difficult" writer Emerson, while on-screen, the viewer appeared to be fast-forwarding through the speech.

I could have called Emerson "abstract and difficult" myself, by the way, having had to read him in a former life. But I hate to become a member of the "dissing dead poet's society," so I grabbed a couple of adjectives online and, for my part as a former "you want fries with that" English major, let's just say he was definitely fast-forwardable at times.

TiVo, which the ad-supported TV industry has had some legitimate fear of, appeared to have been welcomed into the family on the Emmy telecast, or at least acknowledged as an undeniable force in the hands of newly empowered TV viewers.

But there was more than victory via cultural reference for TiVo. It also won a statue itself in the Creative Arts Emmys the week before for "outstanding achievement in enhanced television programming."

By John Eggerton