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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Jesse's Ratings Weak: What a Shocker

Jesse Ventura's new TV show aired on MS-NBC this past weekend, and as Glenn Reynolds points out, the ratings were abysmal -- only an estimated 194,000 people watched it. Glenn is being generous and suggesting that MS-NBC didn't give it the proper PR support. The Post reports:

Ventura fans would have had to be paying close attention to even know the show was on the air. MSNBC barely promoted it, running on-air promotions for the debut on Friday night and Saturday. The network bought no print ads and no commercials on other networks.

Ventura's show was troubled almost since MSNBC hired him. It was envisioned as a daily, prime-time fixture, but after its premiere was delayed several times, the network said it would run just once a week on Saturday - generally the least-watched night of television.

However, I had the opportunity to listen to the "Dork of the Week" segment of the show on the radio yesterday, and let me tell you, it was excruciating. First of all, "Dork of the Week" is an epithet that you would expect from a middle-school boy, not a grown man, and certainly not a former Governor of Minnesota. Even if you get past that, Jesse can't speak without sounding ... well, like a dumb middle-school jock. The story was about a scientist who thought that by lowering his heartbeat (through yoga), he could swim with sharks and not be detected. He was spectacularly wrong and apparently is lucky to be alive. This story could have had some entertainment value, if you enjoy literally adding insult to injury, if it had been delivered with a wry touch, the sort of thing that Jon Stewart or David Letterman could do without even thinking about it. Instead, Jesse beat it to death in that clod voice of his.

The final straw is that this story is over a year old (April 21, 2002, to be exact)-- so how could he be the Dork of the Week? Not coincidentally, MS-NBC has been working with Jesse for over a year to get this TV show in order. That means that Jesse has been practicing the same story for over a year!! Pathetic. Even with Gary Davis and Arianna Huffington, he couldn't outscore a rerun of a documentary of Laura Bush.

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09:39 PM in Television | Permalink


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