Now that Woods has admitted to "transgressions" -- as well as the fact that Cadillac SUVs are no match for Orlando trees or fire hydrants --- TV executives can only wait for another of his high-rated returns.
The last time Woods departed TV for a while, it came after his "heroic" efforts with a bum knee while winning a dramatic U.S. Open. Big TV golf events then resumed their high Tiger-infused ratings.
This time, of course, there are different circumstances. No matter. TV loves its subjects to be dramatic, in any possible way. TV interest will still be there. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
This applies to new upcoming musical acts who are -- accidentally or not -- creating their own TV controversies. Adam Lambert's rejection from a couple of ABC shows -- "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "Good Morning America" -- looks to follow the same formula, if not on a smaller marketing scale. (After the rejections, Lambert will now get a shot on ABC's "The View" on Dec. 10.)
Why the controversy? During a recent American Music Awards performance on ABC, the highly celebrated "American Idol" runner-up 1) kissed a band member on stage (male); 2) got faux oral sex from a dancer on stage (male); and 3) offered his middle finger to audience members not on stage (both sexes).
Woods and Lambert have nothing in common except for the probable end result: Controversy equals short-term fewer TV exposures, which equals pent-up viewer interest.
The proliferation of media platforms give brands (human brands as well as non-human brands) many options. But for most middle-of-the-road entertainment brands, exposure on smaller, fractionalized options rarely total up big numbers.
TV history shows us all behaviors add to the TV resumes of human entertainment brands. But you need a lot more.
Woods can survive his "transgressions." Didn't Kobe? Hasn't Letterman? Can Lambert survive his? Go ask Madonna and Britney Spears.
What are the key ingredients that keep the engine going for years? It isn't just controversy which, in and of itself, can only jump-start a dead career. At any level in the face of any storm, you need real talent and big TV ratings to keep it going.