Re: ABC scheds "Wipeout" against Super Bowl halftime, "Office"
- From: WQ <WQieue@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 21:42:17 -0800 (PST)
On Dec 8, 8:16 pm, David <dimla...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
from the hollywood reporter
'Wipeout' special set for Super Sunday
ABC to counterprogram with sports-star installment
By James Hibberd
On Super Bowl Sunday, football fans will have a choice: the Boss or
the Big Balls.
ABC plans to counterprogram NBC's game-day entertainment telecasts
with a sports-star-studded episode of the summer obstacle-course hit
The Disney-owned network will air a brief football-themed "Wipeout"
special against NBC's official halftime show headlined by Bruce
Springsteen. Then, during NBC's post-Bowl presentation of "The
Office," ABC will air an hourlong "Wipeout" in which cheerleaders
compete against male "couch potato" sports fans.
The strategy will mark the first time in five years a major broadcast
network has gone after a rival's Super Bowl momentum with original
--- And Wipeout is the best they could come up with? Well, at least
it's appropriately titled for the kind of ratings it'll get.
"It's broadcast's biggest day, and this is a big mass-market show, and
it's fun to be able to participate and be a part of it," said John
Saade, senior vp alternative programming at ABC. "This will put
'Wipeout' back in the public's consciousness between runs, and we plan
to have a lot of fun with it."
--- Tell me this guy doesn't actually believe what he's saying. It's
just too scary if he does.
The two-part ABC special -- dubbed "Wipeout Superball Sunday" -- pulls
out all the stops to cater to NFL fans: Hall of Famer Michael Irving
will lend sideline commentary, the Navy's Blue Angels will perform a
flyover, the USC marching band will storm the course, contestants will
run a gantlet with quarterbacks pelting them with footballs, NFL
luminaries will stop by the commentary booth, and the show's signature
Big Balls obstacle has been converted into jumbo-sized footballs.
--- Yeah, there's a really selling point right there.
The special is one of the most ambitious Super Bowl Sunday programming
plans ever mounted by a non-host network. Yet for the reality show's
producer, Endemol, it's familiar territory.
--- "One of the most ambitious Super Bowl Sunday programming plans
ever mounted..." Stop, please stop, I can't stand hyperbole run amok.
In 2002, NBC enjoyed some of Fox's big game thunder by airing a
special episode of the Endemol-produced "Fear Factor" featuring
Playboy Playmates as contestants during halftime. "Fear Factor"
siphoned off 11.4 million viewers. The family-friendly "Wipeout" could
attract even more.
--- Yeah, but, but, but Fear Factor had the Playboy Playmates.
Wipeout's got what, people in clown suits?
"There's a tremendous amount of people who tune into TV during the
Super Bowl, and we don't expect to get most of them," executive
producer Matt Kunitz said. "But if we can pull even 12 million to 20
million away, that would be great."
Great for ABC and for "Wipeout" but less so for struggling NBC, which
is counting on an attentive Super Bowl audience to promote its
midseason slate, including new drama "Kings" and the return of
"Celebrity Apprentice." After the game, NBC will air a one-hour
edition of "The Office."
--- I don't know about anybody else here, but somehow I don't see any
real programming synergy between football and an hour-long Office.
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