You learn a lot about yourself watching trashy television. This week during my continued the exploration into the murky depths of the cable grid, I really learned a lot. I learned that I occasionally root for those on the wrong side of the law. That I sometimes root for those who are quick to resort to violence. And, more than everything, I always — without question — root for those that accessorize with American flag bandanas.
Every month, ESPN Research sends out an e-mail to producer types that summarizes the month in ratings on the ESPN Networks and gives a glimpse at what has rated well on cable as a whole. (Pretty boring way to start the column, I know — stay with me.) I don’t normally pay much attention to the finer details of this missive, but something jumped out at me this week when I looked at the top 10 shows on ad-supported cable in March WHOA, PEOPLE LOVE THEM SOME WEIRDO HISTORY CHANNEL REALITY TV:
1. Pawn Stars
2. Jersey Shore
3. Pawn Stars
4. American Pickers
5. Jersey Shore
6. Jersey Shore
7. Pawn Stars
8. Swamp People
9. Swamp People
10. Pawn Stars
Jersey Shore I get, but Pawn Stars? American Pickers? Fucking Swamp People?
Melissa McCarthy is having an excellent week: On Sunday, she won the Emmy for Best Comedy Actress, and yesterday, CBS picked up a sitcom she co-wrote with her husband, Ben Falcone. (It is, in her own words, “about a woman in her mid-40s who has a spectacular midlife crisis” and “what a midlife crisis means for a woman, which is very different from [what it means for] men.”) If this lucky streak continues, today Melissa McCarthy will probably enter and win a very lucrative raffle. Grade: A [Deadline]
Simon Cowell is working on a stage adaptation of The X Factor for London’s West End, and has reached out to British comedian Harry Hill and comedy music producer Steve Brown to drum up ideas for what such a monstrosity might look like. This is great news for British pop star Cheryl Cole, who now has one more iteration of X Factor from which she can be fired. Grade: D [Deadline]