There is nothing new or different about a TV series taking advantage of a musician or song’s popularity in order to boost ratings or allow for cross-promotions, but CBS and Bruce Springsteen are taking the concept to its logical overblown conclusion. For the upcoming January 12 episode of its award-winning drama The Good Wife, CBS will be incorporating three tracks off of Springsteen’s latest album High Hopes, which hits stores on January 14. Additionally, CBS will also be hosting a full stream of the album on their website starting January 5. I suppose the only thing we have to wait for now is CBS to begin a reality show called The Boss, where Springsteen works as people’s bosses for a day and comments on how tough it is.
For this ratings grab, via Rolling Stone, The Good Wife will feature the leading single “High Hopes,” “Hunter of Invisible Game” and a new version of his classic “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” The album is a mixture of new recordings of old songs and tunes that were cut from Springsteen’s last few albums, so this isn’t as high-profile a release as one might expect. And that’s probably why CBS is getting exclusivity out of it.
“We love using music in The Good Wife,” said show creators Robert and Michelle King in a press release. “So when the Bruce Springsteen songs became available, we couldn’t believe our luck. We wished we could use the whole album.”
The fact that CBS will be streaming the album a week before the episode airs seems like it’s undercutting the draw of getting people to watch the episode to hear new music. Granted, I’m not sure that anyone who isn’t already a fan of The Good Wife – our own Mack is a superfan – would tune in solely to hear snippets of songs, but it’s still a strange ploy. And who knows how well it will work anyway, since Amazon accidentally put the album’s songs up for sale as mp3s last week, making them easily attainable through piracy websites once the retail giant realized their error and took the songs down.
In any case, the hit series will be returning from its holiday hiatus on January 5 with “Goliath and David,” which you can watch a preview for below. Once that episode ends, you’ll be able to see the Springsteen-laden clip for the following week’s episode “We the Juries.”
This isn’t the first time a TV program has aired new music from The Boss, as the NFL premiered a track on Sunday Night Football a few months before Springsteen performed the Super Bowl halftime show. Check out the video for the rollicking “High Hopes” below.