Between a Rock and a
you all know, I won't be around next week due to the
convention, so consider these two commentaries for this
week and next week...
The first thought that I had actually occurred two weeks
ago, when a thunderstorm zapped my cable box. I had my
lovely cable company reassemble my box and plop me into
their 'IO' plan, which is the New Jersey version of
5,800 channels. It's a good thing that I did that - a
week later, Cablevision moved GSN to their IO service.
What does that mean? If you want to spend $50 on a
regular cable, you're not going to be getting your game
shows. The only way that happens is if you upgrade and
get the $80 jobby.
I wanted to bring this up because we here at GSNN have
been getting letters from the East Coast - ANGRY letters
from the East Coast - from people who have been
demanding to know why this is.
It could be due to ratings. Quite frankly, GSN doesn't
get the ratings that they used to get. As has been
mentioned on this forum in the past, the average rating
on GSN used to be a 0.6. Now, it's a little over a 0.4.
The status of their future may now be looking over the
border, thanks to the sins and poor programming moves of
their past. It could also be due to muscle - GSN isn't a
part of any of the major comglomerates that want the
premium space of eyeballs watching their regular cable
Whatever the reason, GSN can't possibly be happy that
their station just got shut out from a couple of million
potential viewers. What also could also not make them
very happy is that based on the e-mail coming in, it may
not just be the east coast that will be losing GSN on
their primary cable service. If this trend continues,
then we're looking at scores of millions of people
losing access to GSN, and if that's the case, they
trying to get that 0.4 rating may turn from mediocre to
Speaking of ratings,
Mark Burnett tried another gimmick to get more of those
things to salvage his show Rockstar. For whatever reason, the results show is lower
rated than the performance show. To try to remedy that,
Burnett decided to show the audience who the bottom
three is, in an effort to 1. spur the voting and 2. spur
Based on what happened on Wednesday night, not only did neither
of them work, but it could have cost Brandon dearly.
What we witnessed last night was another mini-Chaos
Factor. Deanna didn't do too badly, but the television
show showed her as one of the people in danger and in the bottom three. What did
the audience do? They came in droves to vote her out of the bottom three.
Indeed, they did that, but what they also did was bring
Suzie into the Bottom Three.
Now you may all be saying, well wait a second, Brandon
was listed in the bottom three and he still was there.
That's true, but Suzie was one of the best performers of
last night. Even INXS admitted that. Everyone knew that
Suzie was in no actual danger of leaving the show.
What would have happened should the graphic not be
shown? Well the bottom three would probably be Brandon and Jessica
with...Deanna. Instead of Brandon having to sing for his
life against Jessica, it probably would have been Deanna
(who did NOT sing good on Tuesday) singing against
Jessica for their lives, with all Brandon having to do
is to be halfway decent.
We didn't get what we should have gotten. Instead, it
was a sing-off that added a lot more pressure to
Brandon. He may have even gotten the easier song that
Suzie got and would not have had to get the song that he
screwed up the lyrics to.
Now I'm not saying that Brandon would have won the
competition. He probably doesn't make the top 5,
regardless. However, I always draw the lines at twists
that skewer the sanctity and validity of a competition.
This would be like having each person putting up who
they were voting for in Survivor and then having the
audience change their votes in mid-stream. The audience
would respond by shutting off their television on
Survivor - just like they are doing now.
There's no doubt that Mark Burnett is an excellent
producer, but trying to skewer a competition just for
the sake of getting ratings never works. It seemed that
Burnett didn't listen to the INXS song 'Don't Lose Your
Head', because it blatantly looks like he did here. It
didn't work for Fame as they tried to bring in 'The
Spoiler', and it's not going to work here. If these are
the kind of tactics that Burnett is trying to use to
save Rock Star, then to quote an INXS song used
yesterday, maybe it's time for the show to 'Disappear'.
Don't forget to catch
Gordon Pepper on The Buzz, Buzzerblog.com's podcast,
this week. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.