Remember when car companies were so tied to TV shows that the simple mention of “Dinah Shore” and “Bonanza” sent a Chevrolet jingle into your head, or “Groucho Marx” made you picture the star next to a brand-new De Soto? I have to admit that I’m too young to have seen these shows when they were first broadcast, but even as a child of the 1970s, I know the connection and have witnessed it in “three-peat.”
It appears General Motors plans to capitalize on that connection again with a modern “man show” (my words) that is “aimed at entertaining and informing today's ‘classic man’" (their words).
The new program is called "Inside the Vault," which begins airing on WGN America and 18 Tribune broadcast affiliates Feb. 4, and “will showcase stories, insights and conversation, providing a variety of perspectives on how men live today,” according to the company.
“Inside the Vault” is a joint production between General Motors and a variety of media partners with episode themes surrounding men’s “lifestyle” topics, such as gadgets, travel, fitness, food and sports. Collector car hobbyists will be interested to know the show will also feature automotive content.
"New times call for new approaches," said GM's Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. "'Inside the Vault' represents an exciting and different avenue for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac to connect with audiences and create an environment that is different from anything that's being done in TV today."
The 10-episode season is hosted by Cris Collinsworth, a former NFL wide receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals and an Emmy-winning television along with Alonzo Bodden of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" and Jill Wagner, who currently co-hosts ABC's "Wipeout."
The series will appear online at www.insidethevault.tv, which launches on Thursday (Feb. 3). Currently, there is a trailer for the show on the series’ website.
Syndicated television broadcasts will include commercials for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The show will feature vehicles from these brands as part of its content, when relevant, but focuses on the viewer experience and omits "sponsored by" branding.
The 30-minute program will air on WGN America and on 18 Tribune affiliates including PIX11 New York; KTLA Los Angeles; WGN Chicago; WPHL Philadelphia; KDAF Dallas; WDCW Washington, D.C.; KIAH Houston; WKBD Detroit; KZJO Seattle; WSFL Miami; KTXL Sacramento; KRCW Portland; WXIN Indianapolis; KSWB San Diego; WTIC Hartford; WPMT Harrisburg; WXMI Grand Rapids, and WNOL New Orleans. Check local listings for airings of upcoming episodes.