Get a Whiff of 'Earl' for Sweeps

NBC will be super-sizing its Thursday comedies for much of May sweeps, but the network isn't stopping its novel promotional efforts there.

The folks at the Peacock are aiming to engage viewers' noses as well as their eyes with a breakthrough it's calling "Laugh 'n' Sniff." During the Thursday, May 3 episode of "My Name Is Earl," people equipped with special scratch-and-sniff cards will be able to smell the world of Camden County as well as watch it.

The cards will be inserted into issues of TV Guide that week.

Giving viewers smells as well as sights has been tried in the past, notably in John Waters' 1981 movie "Polyester." That movie was presented in "Odorama," and Waters being Waters, a number of the scents were not exactly pleasant.

In the "Earl" episode, which kicks off a night of super-sized shows, Earl (Jason Lee) takes his first real job, at an appliance store, and Joy (Jaime Pressly) makes another in a string of questionable decisions regarding her upcoming trial.

The show will run 35 minutes, followed by a 44-minute installment of "The Office," a 34-minute "Scrubs" and a longer "ER," which will start at 9:53 p.m. ET.

NBC will super-size its comedies again the following week, with the "Earl" season finale, "The Office" and "Scrubs" each running 40 minutes. "The Office" and "Scrubs" will each have one-hour season finales on Thursday, May 17.

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