To playfully set the stage for this year’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, the folks at People are taking product placement to a whole new level. The night before the official announcement on November 14 of the 2012 SMA recipient, the storyline of ABC sitcom Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 will be all about the determination of this year’s honoree:

June (Dreama Walker) is obsessed with People magazine’s annual Sexiest Man Alive issue, though Chloe (Krysten Ritter) tells her she shouldn’t be such a sheep and let others dictate what’s hot and sexy. To prove her point, she swoops into the People offices in an attempt to coerce them to feature James Van Der Beek on this year’s SMA cover. James is thrilled by the prospect, and now June suddenly finds him irresistibly attractive.

“This just seemed like the perfect sitcom to do this with,” People executive editor Liz Sporkin tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “Especially since James Van Der Beek sends himself up every week on the show and he was a hot guy on Dawson’s Creek.” Returning the synergistic favor, People will have Van Der Beek pen for the 2012 SMA issue the latest edition of companion column “If I Were Sexiest Man Alive.”

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