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57 Channels And The Same Thing's On
Gordon Pepper

I did not watch Martha Stewart's Apprentice on Wednesday night. I watched America's Next Top Model. I did not watch the Donald's version of the Apprentice either. I taped CSI. Yet, I did wind up watching everything, thanks to CNBC, who rebroadcast both shows.

Such is the life of television, where you can see every show that you want 2, 3, 4 times a week, pending on the show. Miss Next Top Model? See it the Tuesday after. Miss an MTV show? you can see it 4 more times on MTV or MTV2. ESPN? You got the Deuce. And of course, GSN airs their wares at least 3-4 times a week as well.

As a matter of fact, with the exception of Survivor, you can see every show if you miss the prime-time airing. Something to think about - Survivor is the only show in the Top 10. Is there a correlation?

Now, I'm not saying that the reason why Martha isn't #1 is because it's on 3 times a week. Martha's show has many more problems than that. What I am saying though is that if I wanted to see a show, I don't have to see or tape it in primetime. You have to wonder if all of the show's ratings combined would equal what a show like The Apprentice used to do in primetime.

There could be a second unwanted effect to this - Oversaturation. When you see a version of a show so many times, you are bound to get sick of it, regardless of how good it is. Sure, for every time a show is airing, Mark Burnett and company are getting paid for it, but the 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' rule certainly holds true. With American Idol taking a 7 month break after being aired, you want to see the show when it comes back in January. If you've seen a whole summer worth of 3 seasons of Apprentice (and yes, you could have seen every episode this summer on cable), then you may get a little sick of the premise when you are greeted with not one, but two new versions of the show.

Obviously, if you want to air what the masses want, then it's all well and good, but sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Are these shows' successes the reason for the start of it's downfall? The answer may not be clear quite yet, but the path looks like it could go the way of 5 time a week Celebrity Millionaire...

5 Random things that I thought about this week...

1. The R U The Girl finale - So you bring in someone who happens to be from your hometown, who didn't have to go through an audition to get in, who magically wins the show and you wonder why eyebrows were raised when the statement of TLC was to backtrack what they originally promised?

2. The Apprentice with Martha Stewart - I wanted to see Martha Stewart at her nastiest - or at least see why she is who she is. Instead, we get a very
unrealistic Martha-lite which can't possibly pass as the real Martha. One of the reasons why Trump's Apprentice worked is that we got to see the real Donald - warts and all. It's that real part of him that comes across to us on the TV screen, where as you can scrape away the pretentiousness of Martha with an ice cream scooper.

3. If the Celebrity Millionaire Benefit is anything like Celebrity Lingo, I'm going to hurl.

4. The Amazing Race this past Tuesday was a lot of fun. All of those problems with the show that the internet gurus were complaining about? Sure it's early, but I haven't seen it yet.

5. In the spirit of the Biggest Loser 2, I decided to go on a weight loss campaign, which starts from now until the next GSC this summer. So far, so good, as I have lost 8 pounds in the past 6 weeks. If anyone wants to do this with me, or even talk about their own progress, feel free to e-mail me via this site. Maybe we can help each other out.

Gordon Pepper may have to repurpose himself in order to get this message out. E-mail him at


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