As you flip through your television channels, you may soon run across "The Sears (NYSE:S) Show," starring a Craftsman hedge trimmer and a Kenmore dishwasher as a lovable couple, along with their wacky neighbors, the Lands' End scarves.

OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration -- but be ready to see more Sears products televised into your home. ABC television, owned by Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), has just inked a deal with the 117-year-old retailer, making it the primary sponsor of a new program called "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." (Note that in the past few years, Sears itself has been trying to give itself a makeover -- by buying Lands' End, for example.)

Product placements in television shows have been around for a long time, but have become less subtle lately. (Think of "Survivor" contestants being tempted with Mountain Dew or being given new cars.) In the new "Extreme Makeover" program, while the stories will revolve around worthy families getting their homes spiffed up, Sears products and services will be front and center. Sears will also air commercials during the show.

The arrangement is attractive to companies such as Sears because it will deliver more viewers than commercials do, as many people skip commercials, either by flipping around with the remote or by using tools such as TV-recording service TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) to bypass them.

It also will capitalize on the continued popularity of shows such as The Learning Channel's "Trading Spaces," which featured Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) paint and supplies until last August, when Home Depot (NYSE:HD) became the show's sponsor.

A New York Timesarticle (registration required) asserts that the Sears-ABC deal is costing Sears more than $1 million, while an Associated Press story reports that "an ABC official confirmed that it represents the television network's biggest branded-entertainment deal yet." It also notes that "the new ABC program will carry scenes of trips to Sears stores, trucks delivering merchandise from Sears to the homes, and visits by Sears repair workers who will use Craftsman tools in their home-improvement work."

Critics are speaking out and filing complaints with the government. What do you think about it? Share your thoughts on our Sears discussion board.