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Eat This American Idol

A friend of mine who works for a record label was telling me how he and his coworkers are obsessed with CBS’s new music industry dramedy “Love Monkey” (much in the same self-obsessed vein as us media folk and our beloved gawker.com). What was more interesting than his confessions of how accurate the parallels are between his professional life and Tom’s (often referred to as the show’s male Carrie Bradshaw) — was when he revealed the genius business incest behind the show.

Turns out CBS’s “Love Monkey” is produced by Sony Television, corporate sibling to Columbia Records. Every week, the dramedy has Tom, a record-label A&R exec, hunting for fresh talent…Columbia’s fresh talent, that is. Teddy Geiger (“Wayne” on the show) — a 17-year-old who just signed with Columbia — is the first artist to be “discovered” on the show. The past few weeks have given the genuinely talented Geiger glossy airtime to intoxicate viewers with his voice, which will lead up to his album debut in February.

And this is only the beginning. Nic Harcourt, the veteran KCRW music director, is said to be a producer for show who will keep the new talent flowing. While “Love Monkey'”s executive producer says “this is not a corporate vehicle designed to showcase Sony acts,” it’s certainly no coincedence that the dozens of music artists’ names embedded in the script and that appear on posters in the background happen to be part of the family. For an industry struggling with how to make a buck, you’ve got to hand it to them for creating an entirely new marketing platform for their artists. That is, assuming the show doesn’t have the same short-lived destiny as most.

DS