CBS pioneers rehab synergy

We’ve been sitting around for months now mulling whether we think it’s a good idea for CBS and Viacom to split into separate companies, but after reading The New York Times this morning, we’re convinced they should stay together. Here’s why: it seems that Dr. Phil (does he need further introduction?), whose show is produced by Viacom’s Paramount, has secured an exclusive primetime one-hour interview—during sweeps, no less—with the current holder of the Mr. Rehab title, The Insider’s Pat O’Brien, who was sprung from his facility last week. The Insider, as you might expect, is also produced by Paramount, and y’all get one guess as to which network the show will air on. (Of course, everyone involved says that their corporate parentage had nothing to do with how the interview came together.) Making the whole setup even more beautiful is that the show will air in the spot usually reserved for the Wednesday edition of 60 Minutes. We think this shows that the possibilities of corporate synergy just lie waiting to be tapped—all it takes is a caring—but tough—TV doctor, an underexploited hole in the network TV schedule and yet another contrite, recovering alcoholic.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor