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Product Displacement on NBC’s Heroes

NBC’s supernatural drama, Heroes, may be pioneering a new form of product integration: Call it product displacement.

After Claire the cheerleader (yes, she was saved) received a Nissan Rogue as a gift in the season opener, the car went missing in last week’s episode, leading some to wonder if the show’s long-standing deal with Nissan had gone with it (nope, the Rogue reportedly will return).

More curious, however, is the plotline involving Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) and a missing shipment of iPods. Considering NBC Universal’s decision last month to pull its programs off Apple’s iTunes over pricing issues, this struck us as more like product diss-ment. (Indeed, Heroes was among the most popular downloads at iTunes.)

Pure coincidence, said a Universal Media Studios representative. The episode was shot last June.

Unlike the Rogue, however, we won’t find out what happened to the iPods in future episodes. Said the studio rep: "They just kind of dropped that."

With Anne Becker