Thursday, 6 October 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #819: Discovery Discovers A Problem

Discovery Networks the parent company of the Oprah Winfrey Network is going big when it comes to the debuts of Oprah Winfrey's flagship show and Rosie O'Donnell's new talk show.  Here's a relevant snippet of the press release...
(Los Angeles, CA) – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that the premiere episodes of the new OWN series “The Rosie Show” and “Oprah’s Lifeclass” will air concurrently across five Discovery Communications networks when the series debut on Monday, October 10. Joining OWN in airing the premieres will be TLC, Investigation Discovery, Discovery Fit & Health and Planet Green.“The Rosie Show” will air at 7:00 p.m. ET and “Oprah’s Lifeclass” at 8:00 p.m. ET across the five networks.

Let me cut through the press/publicity baffle-gab to tell you what they are really saying.

Translation:  (Los Angeles, CA)  We at Discovery Networks have come to realize that the ratings for the Oprah Winfrey Network are really abysmal, and that we spent way too much money putting the damn whole thing together.  So we're going to cram the whole dismal mess down your throat in the vain hope that you're going to actually fall for it.  Xenu save us all, we really dug a damn deep hole for ourselves and Oprah seems intent on digging it deeper by spending even more of our money on producing Rosie O'Donnell's show which is guaranteed to be a ratings black hole.
So you have to wonder why Discovery Networks, which has so far been pretty successful in the world of cable specialty channels are betting millions of dollars on hyper-promoting a talk show hosted by a woman best known for thinking that her belief that "fire doesn't melt steel" proves that US government was behind the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks.

And lets not forget her last attempt at a TV comeback, a variety show on NBC was cancelled before they got to the half-time commercial break.

Well, it's because of the planet Oprah Winfrey lives on.

It's not the same planet that people like you an me live on even though it exists in the same physical plane.  This planet is much more ephemeral, ethereal, and exists free of the same laws of logic and rationality that we peasantry have to follow.

I call this planet Rich-World.

When you're citizen of Rich-World, especially a member of its elite within the elite, like Oprah, when you want something, you get it.  You also get it right away, and anyone who dares attempt to deny or question what you want does so at the peril of their livelihood.  Because they can make the social lives of the others in Rich-World, including your employer, difficult.

But, you ask, furrowing your brow in a feeble attempt to understand, you answered why Discovery would give into Oprah's demand, but that doesn't answer why Oprah would want to do unleash an inevitable wreck like The Rosie Show?

Well, Oprah is a smart woman, and she should know that most American viewers are turned off O'Donnell's antics, conspiracy theorizing, and foaming at the mouth at anyone and everyone who disagrees with her on any issue, but she doesn't.

That news doesn't make its way to Rich-World because it gets translated.  You see where I translated the press release baffle-gab into real world English, news of Rosie O'Donnell's career missteps get translated into baffle-gab. 

Because her conspiracy theories about the US government mass murdering New Yorkers and verbal outbursts involved a political party no one in Oprah's circle voted for, it was translated into "speaking truth to power."  The failure of her post-truther-conspiracy projects was attributed to either the stupidity of network programmers, but more likely the stupidity of the audience for not appreciating her greatness.

Differing opinions don't pierce the veil of money and sycophancy that encloses Rich-World, so you end up with an intelligent person like Oprah Winfrey honestly thinking that Rosie's awesome charisma is just what her struggling channel needs.

Of course when decisions like this are made in Rich-World they will eventually meet the Real World, where the rest of us live in.  When it happens, it's a violent clash, and a lot of money gets lost.
Not that it matters to the inhabitants of Rich-World, they usually have big parent companies like Discovery Communications to take the hit for them.  They never face the consequences of their actions.  Only the people laid off from the parent company and its shareholders do that.

So let's just sit back and watch the financial carnage.

It's bound to be more entertaining than the shows.


  1. This is also a case of too big to deny. In this case rosie and Oprah's fat asses. OWN is a rating hole because, for having her espouse her views one show is fine, but a network of nothing but that including a magazine where she is the only one on the cover, TOO MUCH.

  2. It's cognitive dissonance. Matt and Trey talked about this in one of their commentaries for South Park. It was on the Smug Alert show. Matt and Trey went to a party they never attend, full of super-rich studio execs who couldn't stop talking about their new hybrid electric car. When Matt pointed out that the exec had just flown in on a Gulfstream 5 to attend the party she responded "Well someone has to set an example for the little people". This is rent seeking behavior, where you care more about how your select group of peers think of you than actually making and selling a product. This is the current cliqued up, status conscious Hollywood mentality that continues to get smaller and smaller as they lose more of the audience.
    All of a sudden Lars Von Trier and Tracy Morgan are pariahs? Go fuck yourself. You're still giving Roman Polanski award after award AND defending his rape of a teenager.
    I know a lot of creative people like to talk about how they're just writing "for me"/"for my friends" and "fuck the audience" but 99% of the time, that approach gives you movies no one wants to see and novels no one wants to read.
    That 1% is where you find the genius of someone like Norm MacDonald or Matt and Trey or the Coen Brothers.

    I listen to the Opie and Anthony show a lot. Even if Patrice O'Neal is crazy, the way he explains how the Tracy Morgan thing went down is one of the best explanations of the Hollywood, DC/NYC elite system to date.

  3. Just in case no one wants to listen to a 1 hr rant, I'll condense Patrice's argument in his own words.
    You're at a great big hollywood pahty, perhaps at the overlook hotel.
    "Hey Patrice! drink this stuff its great!"
    - What is it?
    "Just drink it! It'll make you feel good!"
    - I don't want to drink it. I don't drink stuff that makes me feel good.
    "Aight..Listen..the party's over for you"

    That's why Hollywood has PETA, GLAAD and the DNC. Rosie made it to the top because she drank the kool-aid. And whatever she says now is gold, profits and market polling be damned.

  4. This is a industry that is funded by OTHER PEOPLES MONEY. It is also why we see comic book companies writing stories and drawing boobage knowing it will prevent younger readers from getting into their books.

    This is why with the "fuck the audience" attitude leading to BO disaster films these same filmmakers sill get money. If some other industry if someone with a job performance was that bad they would be fired not given awards and accolades and then more money.

    Why do you think video games are raking in dough, because Activision and EA actually have to CATER to the audience if they didn't Call of Duty and HALO will FAIL.

    Sad fact is this is how Wall St. also operated in the past few years and led to our current economic state.

  5. "You're still giving Roman Polanski award after award AND defending his rape of a teenager."

    Since 'teenager' covers a fair amount of ground, I'd like to emphasize that Polanski's victim, who he drugged and forcibly sodomized as she sobbed and begged him throughout to stop, was 13, not 18 or 19.

    Also, experts have declared this wasn't "rape-rape," so maybe you should let this go.

  6. Video games have to answer to an audience it's true. But on some level don't movies and TV shows need to do so as well? I mean the point at which the rubber hits the road may be further removed from Rosie O than it is from me (I make video games), but still.

    Certainly there is no shortage of shows which portray an evil sponsor trying to keep the heroes from telling Truth to Power, so at least at one time they recognized the existence of sponsors.

    But Ken and AM - Polanski has been punished SEVERELY. He has not been allowed to come to the US to pick up his rewards. Isn't that harsh enough?

  7. Sandy, with the film/tv world we have people who think catering to the audience is selling out to commercialism. It is their anointed duty to educate us in their way of thinking and to adopt their agenda.

    Most if not all of these "important" films die at the BO even in areas where the movie goer shares these views. Not only are they pushing an agenda but they are not doing it well.

  8. Compare a success like Fireproof, which pushes its agenda HARD, but also has an interesting love story going on. Oddworld (the video game) had a strong left-wing agenda, but was fun to play (I loved it).

    I wish the modern Hollywood Marxists were as talented as the old time Wobblies. Back then they gave us left-wing movies like "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" and "Meet John Doe". Those were terrific despite (because of?) their agenda. But the thought of watching Red State just makes me cringe.