The cameo is one of television's oldest tricks to drum-up interest for a show. But not all cameos are created equal. Inside, a list of the kinds of cameos, why they exist, and just how effective they are.
One must be "upscale" to be an extra on Gossip Girl, at least according to a recent Craigslist casting call. Also: ladies, please wear "cocktail dresses in black or gem tones" for this fancy "elite rehersal [sic] dinner party." Upscale! Just like John Fitzgerald Page. Who is a professional extra! Oh please oh please oh please let him show up on an episode of Gossip Girl, then the universe could finally wink out of existence and we could all live for happy, restful eternities in the ethereal void.
When the producers of critically acclaimed but struggling™ NBC drama Friday Night Lights needed to find a suitable replacement for Mexico for an upcoming episode set in our friendly, NAFTA-compliant neighbors to the south, they chose that of Brownsville, TX—a 91% Latino community bordering the Rio Grande. As reported by the Brownsville Herald, however, a casting call seeking Mexican-American extras turned up scant few hopefuls. It's a disappointment producers are blaming on the rain: