Cracking HBO's 'Six Feet Under' PR code


How do you promote a TV series without giving away the big surprise that its main character is about to cheat on his wife, then promptly kick the bucket? In the case of HBO’s Six Feet Under, very, very carefully. When the network sent out synopses of the series’ July episodes to TV reporters, the description of the scene in which Nate and Maggie skip church read, in part, ”Nate seeks peace through Maggie’s faith.” Um, yeah, sure — if by "seeks peace," you mean "sleeps with" and by "faith" you mean "hooker panties."

In a later press release, HBO kept its cards hidden by including ambiguously worded descriptions of Nate’s appearances in each of Six Feet Under‘s remaining episodes. Although now that we know his character didn’t survive that cerebral hemorrhage, it’s clear that when HBO says that ”Nate urges Brenda to embrace a taboo” on Aug. 14, he’ll be doing it from beyond the grave.

This, of course, raises the question of whether or not any of the other members of the Fisher clan will die before the season finale. Could Keith’s ”embarrassing self-discovery on the job” on Aug. 7 be testicular cancer? When ”Billy attends to his sister ” on Aug. 14, will he use a butcher’s knife? As ”Claire drives into her future” on Aug. 21, could she be headed for a brick wall at 90 miles per hour? Only the sneaky HBO publicity department knows for sure.

addCredit(“Six Feet Under: John P. Johnson”)

Comments (5 total) Add your comment
  • Barrett

    So Nate is dead on ‘Six Feet Under.’ Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen his death announcement card. He also ‘died’ during the Season 3 premiere, the bizarre episode where he visited multiple realities where he was dead, alive, brain damaged, etc.
    I say good riddance. Nate was a dog to the very end. He came into the series screwing Brenda in an airport and he left screwing Maggie (literally) and Brenda (figuratively). I can’t believe TV Guide’s Watercooler bemoans the fact that Nate dies right after “[he] is finally happy.” Nate wasn’t happy; he would have ended up screwing over Maggie as soon as he had her. With Nate, the snatch was always greener on the other side of the fence. Let’s review:
    When he had Brenda, he got Lisa pregnant.
    Married to Lisa, he pined endlessly for Brenda.
    Back with Brenda, he drifted to Maggie
    more at:

  • Schnibley

    I hope the end is as follows:
    – Ruth sleeps with Kathy Bates
    – Keith & David adopt Mia
    – George goes nuts and instead of killing Ruth, he kills Claire
    Or if that doesn’t happen, they have dear old dad wake up from a dream and he never really died.

  • debbi

    I loved this show so much. I cannot believe it is going off the air. Every character, no matter how screwed up they were, was like a part of my family. Nate was like my brother. Isn’t that sad? I don’t know why the creators have decided to let the show die, I feel like I have lost my 2nd family.

  • B.L. Ochman’s weblog – Internet strategy, marketing, public relations, politics with news and commentary

    Six Feet Under Finale Sets Bloggers Buzzing

    With the final episode (sniff) running Sunday, the Technorati tag “Six Feet Under” lists 66 blog posts. Sixty-seven with this one. But HBO missed the blog boat. Again. On Pop Watch blog, fans speculate on the ending. And one commenter says “I don’t kno…

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