'Celebrity' In The Title? Let The Viewer Beware

Beware of TV shows with the word “celebrity” in the title.

Long experience has taught us that such shows are among the worst creations in the entire TV canon. Two new ones are only the latest examples, although past specimens are numerous.

Of the two new “celebrity” shows, one is already on. It is a Thursday-night time filler on Fox called “Celebrity Watch Party” (8-9 p.m. Eastern) that started May 7.

In this show, so-called celebrities are seen at home in their dens or living rooms watching TV and commenting to each other about what they are watching.

So basically, you the viewer at home is now supposed to watch some other people on TV who are also watching TV -- and in effect, staring right back at you.



The above photo is from the show. It is a photo of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and his wife, Janet.

Gaze upon this vision of Woz and his wife relaxing at home in front of the boob tube and you get a pretty fair approximation of what it is like to watch this television show.

Except for the celebrity angle, this is not even a new idea. TLC has had a show like this since some time last year -- one of the many shows the network has spun off from its hit reality show, “90 Day Fiancé.”

On the spinoff titled “90 Day Fiancé: Pillow Talk,” various couples who have already been seen on “90 Day Fiancé” are seen relaxing at home and watching episodes of “90 Day Fiancé” featuring other couples, and commenting on them.

Network TV's other new “celebrity” show is “Celebrity Escape Room,” coming to NBC this week. On this show, four celebrities -- Ben Stiller, Adam Scott, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox -- will take part in an escape-room competition overseen by Jack Black.

This show, which appears to be a one-off special (thank heaven), is scheduled to air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.

This will no doubt present a challenge for millions of home-bound Americans: Which show should they watch at 8 -- “Celebrity Watch Party” or “Celebrity Escape Room”? It’s a tough question. How about watching neither of them?

Perhaps the worst show with the word “celebrity” in its title was a short-lived reality-competition show in 2003 called “I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.”

At the time, I remember one TV columnist as being very dismissive of that show. “I'm a TV critic,” he wrote. “Get me out of here!”

4 comments about "'Celebrity' In The Title? Let The Viewer Beware".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, May 19, 2020 at 5:19 p.m.

    AKA GoggleBox.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 20, 2020 at 2:25 p.m.

    "Celebrities" are having a party, making money and laughing at the fools watching them.

  3. Steve Beverly from Union Broadcasting System, May 21, 2020 at 11:53 p.m.

    Could not agree more, Adam.  This also happens in non-entertainment journalism.  I remember one news director I worked for who said if a release was marked "embargo," it usually means---based on deadlines---they want to feed the story first to their most favored news organization.  He declared all "embargo" items would not be observed after the naming of a public safety director was "embargoed" until 2 p.m. but the afternoon newspaper was on the news stands at 12:45 and had the headline.  From that day forward, he declared our news team would never observe an "embargo" and dared any agency to issue one.  We didn't have much trouble after that.

  4. Steve Beverly from Union Broadcasting System, May 21, 2020 at 11:55 p.m.

    It's like the new version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" with Kimmel.  The expert helpers are better known than the "celebrities" playing the game.

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