Harry Potter and Your Eventual Obsolesence

Turn on ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas programming, and you'll see a lot of what you might expect; classic TV cartoons, claymation specials, great old movies and an odd lot of newer ones. But here's something you might not have expected: the whole thing seems to center around the airing of two Harry Potter films. Not exactly your traditional Christmas fare.

It's all marketing, of course, all corporate synergy. ABC Family wants to boast about a couple of movies that they know will bring press and audience to their lineup (and it has); the distributor of the just-released Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD wants some free advertising to a captive audience; and the Harry Potter franchise as a whole wants to stay fresh in the minds of parents and kids alike this gift-giving season. It's a natural—or at least a commonly unnatural—thing to see happen.

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Sean Cronin