Half-hour TV show on OS set

Microsoft Corp. is going back in time to promote its new Windows 7 operating system.

Taking its inspiration from Texaco Star Theater, a Milton Berle-hosted 1950s variety show that was television’s first big hit, the computer giant is teaming with “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane to sponsor a 30-minute show to air on the Fox network next month.

The show will run without commercials, and promises to feature “unique Windows 7-branded programming that blends seamlessly with show content.”

Although Microsoft would not give away any specific songs or gags, look for MacFarlane and his “Family Guy” co-star Alex Borstein to offer up jokes, songs and cartoons that include clever references to Windows.


Gayle Troberman, Microsoft’s general manager of advertising, said MacFarlane offers an opportunity for Microsoft to appeal to a wide mix of demographics.

The show, which has a working title of “Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show,” is scheduled to air Nov. 8 at 8:30 p.m.

Troberman wouldn’t say what Microsoft was paying for the privilege, but Fast Company reported last year that a 30-second spot on “Family Guy” cost $200,000.

Since Microsoft is taking the whole 30-minute show, it’s probably spending a pretty penny.