It has often been said that Hollywood is out of ideas. And even on the rare occasions when a network comes up with something truly original, the other networks trip all over themselves trying to follow suit.
Spurred on by comparative success of Discovery’s “Naked and Afraid,” TheWrap reports that broadcast and cable programming executives have been “flooded with pitches for naked dating shows.” “One broadcast executive told TheWrap that he has already seen “a dozen naked dating pitches” cross his desk this year.
While “Naked and Afraid” did attract a respectable (for cable TV) 4.15 million viewers for its premiere episode (most probably tuned-in just to satisfy their curiosity), the ratings thus far for season three have averaged less than half that, and have never done better than 2.4 million. So this is our benchmark for success, and this is the formula the other networks are rushing to repeat. (As a side note, the Mark Burnett-produced History channel miniseries “The Bible” never dropped below 10 million viewers – where are all the network pitches for more Bible-based series?)
Last week VH1 rolled-out its entry for this race to the gutter, “Dating Naked,” to less than one million viewers. Entertainment Weekly notes:
By comparison, most of the network’s original series averaged at least a million viewers, with the top six all averaging more than 2 million (the network’s most-watched series this year, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, averaged 3.5 million viewers, while the network’s least-watched, the short-live revival of Best Week Ever, averaged 226,000 viewers).
But will the spectacular failure of “Dating Naked” deter all those media executives who are eager to roll out their own naked reality shows? Probably not. But hopefully the corporate world, at least, will now know better than to bet their money on a loser.
Companies that made “Dating Naked” possible through their sponsorship dollars include:
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