Another hot property for NBCU TV CPG is "Smash," a musical drama that addresses the process of developing an original Broadway musical, as it begins its second season on Feb. 5.
"It's the only show on TV that puts out such a large amount of original music," says Niemi.
NBCU TV CPG has already released a Smash sheet music collection from Alfred Music Publishing and is releasing "Bombshell," the original cast album, Feb. 12.
In addition, Niemi says that a Smash bus tour of New York City will debut in the spring in partnership with On Location.
"It will take visitors on a journey as if they were walking with the characters Karen and Ivy. It will showcase where Angelica Houston's production office is, where Karen works and all the ins and outs of how Broadway functions," Niemi says.
NBCU TV CPG's resident super fan and science fiction/comic book aficionado, Christopher Lucero, director of global licensing, continues to find new ways to bring exciting products to fans based on classic programs and current hits. Some recent initiatives include:
■ Six Million Dollar Man–"Retro action figures have been big on the comic side of business for the past few years and we officially launched 8-inch figures from Bif Bang Pow!, reminiscent of the old 12-inch figures originally produced by Kenner. It's just one of those properties that has remained strong and popular," says Lucero. The line includes characters Steve Austin, Bigfoot and Dr. Rudy Wells, plus various novelty items. Also included are Bionic Man and Bionic Woman comic books from Dynamite, complete with new storylines.
■ Battlestar Galactica–The classic series will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year and Lucero says that new products are planned.
■ Grimm–With season 2.5 debuting March 8, Lucero describes the drama series based on the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales as "the little show that could." Several new products include ABG for hats and belt buckles, Fifth Sun for t-shirts, Dynamite for comic books, Titan Books for original novels and Dark Horse for collectibles including patches, pins, playing cards, cold cast poly stone and resin statues, 4-inch PVC figures and prop replicas.
Another example of NBCU TV CPG's creative and organic approach to brand licensing is the collection of office supplies based on the comedy "The Office." NBCU TV CPG launched the tongue-in-cheek Dunder Mifflin-branded copy paper last year in an exclusive agreement with Staples'
Quill.com|~Quill.com/ and recently expanded the line to include markers, self-stick notes, facial tissue, coffee cups, storage boxes and legal pads.
Other examples of the strategy and scope of the NBCU TV CPG's consumer products programs include Parks and Recreation talking bobble heads, Halloween masks and trading cards; Liz Lemon-branded Greek frozen yogurt from Ben & Jerry's set to hit market soon; and Jimmy Fallon's best-selling book and CD.
Niemi says the key to the future for the consumer products group is ongoing content with the continuity of second and third seasons, as well as the opportunity to home in on shows that have potential including interesting game shows and new series such as "Bates Motel," and "The Choir" as well as veteran series such as "Psych."
While the list of NBCU properties and products contains dozens of other shows, they all reinforce the group's commitment to innovative and organic solutions to brand licensing and also reflect the opportunities for growth in the coming years.