Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Friday, March 15, 2002

celebrity boxing a hit

Common Dominators: "Celebrity Boxing" averaged 15.5 million viewers--Fox's highest ratings since "Temptation Island" last year. Although there were two other matches, most viewers tuned in Wednesday to see Tonya Harding beat the tar out of Paula Jones. The catfight in boxing gloves even won its time period against a rerun of the critically acclaimed "The West Wing." [...] People watch shows such as "Celebrity Boxing" precisely because they are terrible, and because they are commentary on how we feel about celebrity. "No one took this seriously," Gabler said Thursday. "What was going on last night was a giant wink to one another. It was a giant tweak to high culture. This was about saying, I'm hip. I'm cool. I get it. It's about irony."

Well ... I can't say as I'm surprised. The pure trainwreck factor alone would have pulled viewers. And lets face it: there are a lot of people out there who would not be at all unhappy just to watch these "celebrities" getting hit purely because they wanted to hit these people themselves. I mean, doesn't the idea of just smacking Tonya one sound really horribly seductive? Giving Vanilla Ice (pardon -- V-Ice, these days) one upside the head?

Eh. Look at it this way: at least in our current version of bread and circuses, there aren't any lions involved. (Although you could make an argument about cruelty to dumb animals ...)

Posted by iain at 11:25 AM in category