NEW YORK – If you watch NBC’s “The Jensen Project” tonight, you probably won’t realize how much the science fiction movie owes to toothpaste and diapers.

The movie is part of a broader narrative being written by the world’s largest retailer and the world’s largest consumer products company. It is produced and bankrolled by Walmart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. as the second of what the companies hope is a long-running series of family-friendly programs they will bring to television.

“The Jensen Project” features LeVar Burton of “Roots” and “Reading Rainbow,” with Patricia Richardson of “Home Improvement.” The “project” is a secret community of geniuses formed to solve some of the world’s problems, and they must fight to keep a new technology from falling into evil hands.

The companies consider it a perfect movie for parents to watch with their children — without bad language or questionable content. It is material company executives say isn’t often available.

“We’re trying to increase the supply,” said Stephen Quinn, chief marketing officer at Walmart. “Our belief was that the demand was there but the supply was short.”

Their first project, the movie “Secrets of the Mountain,” aired on NBC in April and was seen by a healthy audience of 7.5 million people. It was subsequently packaged by Walmart to sell in its stores as a DVD and has sold more there than any other television movie, Quinn said.

“The Jensen Project” will get similar treatment, and the DVD will be paired with a soundtrack produced by Randy Jackson with music from Jordin Sparks and others.

The companies say their own research shows their customers want more family material. What is more important is that consumers have a more favorable view of their products, and a stronger inclination to buy them, if advertisements are associated with family-friendly material. And the shows counter an opposing trend: Some consumers notice if a company’s ads are seen in racy programming, and advertisers are often targeted when boycott campaigns are launched.

NBC welcomes the relationship with the two companies and acknowledges that it “truly is programming that the entire family can enjoy together.”

A family movie on a summer Friday night is a relatively risk-free move for the network, particularly when the producers paid for making it and have guaranteed that NBC will not lose money by airing it.

Walmart and Procter & Gamble have started the Alliance for Family Entertainment with about 40 prominent advertisers, including Hasbro, General Mills and Pepsi-Cola. They have one other movie, “A Walk in My Shoes,” that will be ready to air this fall.