I realize Parenthood has largely abandoned any attempts at credibility where its supposed Berkeley location is concerned. But how hard can it be for a production crew to get a copy of a real Bay Area newspaper on the set?

On this week’s episode, character Adam  is seen — very briefly — scanning the front page of his local paper with his morning coffee (before he greets his morose teenage daughter, Haddie, who has just broken up with her boyfriend).

Berkeleyside’s crack investigative team (ie, a tech-savvy teenager who was able to procure a screen grab) reveals that the paper’s name is the  “San Francisco Register” (above). Turns out that name was also used as a fictional  daily newspaper in NBC’s Journeyman TV series.

Is there some rule that prevents TV shows from showing real newspapers? Product placement might be an issue, but surely a 3-second clip of the Chronicle wouldn’t be an problem. Perhaps Phil Bronstein should organize to have a few editions Fed-Exed to Hollywood, just in case they might come in useful on future shoots.

Better still, Adam could next be seen perusing Berkeleyside on his laptop. Much more authentic.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Speaking as a fan of TV crossovers, no matter how trivial, it’s always more fun to find a fictional product – the Register, Playpen magazine, Morley’s cigarettes – that link shows together. Thank your “crack investigative team” for bringing this to our attention!

  2. Cheri: As someone who reads three daily newspapers, only one of which is from San Francisco, I agree with you. My point was that if he is going to be seen reading a local paper, why not at least make it a real one?

  3. It might seem a bit more realistic if he had been reading a paper from Berkley, but I don’t see what the big deal is. I live just outside Detroit and yet I have papers from New York and LA delivered to my home. It doesn’t seem unreasonable that Adam would be reading a San Fransisco paper real or not.

  4. There are no rules against this. Copyright makes allowances for fair use, and this would certainly qualify. The problem is more of the sort that all the big content producers are paranoid about riling each other, and so don’t want to stir anything up by casually using somebody else’s content.

    It’s illogical insanity, more or less.

  5. Ok. I think Berkeleyside can take a break from its coverage of Parenthood. I liked Sarah Henry’s observations on the first episode. At this point, though, I think you’re just beating a proverbial dead horse. Just sayin’…