Monday, September 04, 2006

Profiting From The Race Card

The reality show Survivor has proved to be a durable fixture in the CBS lineup since its inception in 2000.  It has endured and flourished where others have failed.

Along the way there have been minor tweaks to the format intended to keep the show fresh and maintain viewer interest.  Viewership has dipped slightly, but it has remained one of the few reality shows to regularly appear in the top 10.

Now about to enter season 13, producer Mark Burnett has chosen to embark upon a controversial, and costly, format.  Shockingly, the new season will bring four teams of different races, competing against each other.

To this I can only say, WTF?!

The format has already caused long-standing sponsors, including GM, to withdraw their support.  And rightfully so.  GM has enough problems without having to justify its continuing and prominent support that features at least one (and sometimes more) vehicle being given away each season.  One season had a number of players receiving vehicles.

Is Mr.Burnett really this desperate to regain the lost viewers of his perennial favorite?  Why put his cash cow at risk?  What's next, perhaps a German versus Jewish edition?

Your humble diarist sees parallels between the controveries caused by "author" Ann Coulter and her resultant healthy income and the new Survivor format.  The intended audience just can't stay away.  And the cash flow keeps coming.

USA Today:

Let's just take the move for what it is: a gimmicky ratings grab aimed at attracting viewers — such as myself — who don't normally watch the show. Of course the idea of having teams based on race isn't "the right thing to do" by most people's standards, but we're still going to watch.

One can only wonder at the new viewers that will be brought in by this strategy.  Perhaps Pat Buchanan?

Accordingly, over at my similarly named blog, it was the unanimous decision of the staff to vote Mr.Burnett off the virtual island in early Tribal Council voting.

The Tribe has spoken.  See you, Mr.Burnett.  



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