Show gives special attention to 'Wolverine'

Twentieth Century Fox’s TV and film studios are already playing nice under the new News Corp. regime — but their first collaboration came by accident.

Viewers of this week’s episode of “How I Met Your Mother” — produced by 20th Century Fox TV — probably noticed several references to its sister feature division’s upcoming release “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Posters for the movie could be seen in the background as the show’s stars strolled down a New York street. And one scene featured characters wrestling each other with Wolverine-style claws.

Is it a sign of the times under Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairs Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, now that they oversee both TV and film divisions?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, the two sides are more closely aligned under the post-Peter Chernin setup. But the “Mother” integration was already in the works prior to last month’s executive shuffle — and actually wasn’t intended to include “Mother” originally.

Insiders said CBS had originally sealed an integration deal with the 20th Century Fox film studio to include “Wolverine” in an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.”

“Big Bang,” after all, revolves around the exact kind of characters who would be first in line to see an “X-Men” movie. But according to one source, “Big Bang” exec producer Chuck Lorre passed on incorporating “Wolverine” into the show.

Lorre holds a bit of sway — after all, he’s behind the Eye’s top-rated comedy, “Two and a Half Men.”

So CBS turned to “Mother” and asked the sitcom to include a few “Wolverine” references. Being good corporate citizens, 20th Century Fox TV obliged.

In the end, CBS and Fox Filmed Entertainment got its integration, Lorre got to do his show without any ad interference and 20th Century Fox TV scored a few points in its new setup.

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