Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ignoring Your Audience

They say there's someone for everyone, but I've rarely beheld an entertainment match as near perfect as Bravo TV and Project Runway. That was of course, until those peckish Weinstein brothers broke it up.

Following a truly nasty legal battle, the courts decided the Weinsteins didn't have to honor their contract with Bravo, and allowed them to take Project Runway to Lifetime.

What? How will the 5-hankie network and Project Runway ever work together? And how will I ever conquer the mortal fear and loathing that overcomes me every time my channel clicker accidentally lands on Lifetime? The answer is: I probably won't. Because the kind of people who watch Bravo are not the same kind of people who watch Lifetime.

I'm not making any kind of judgment call here. I'm not saying that people who watch Bravo are intrinsically cooler, smarter, hipper, etc. than the people who watch Lifetime. I'm just saying I don't think most of them will make the switch. I think a lot of people are going to forget about Project Runway, because it won't be in its accustomed spot. I'm saying a lot of people will not bother to turn on Lifetime just so they can follow Project Runway. I know I won't.

I am not judging a book by its cover. I've watched Lifetime programming on occasion. When I first got cable, I tried several of their programs. But I couldn't stay with any of them. The weeping, helpless damsels in distress, who always rely on a strapping hunk of man for rescue just got to be too much. The hokey dialogue, the circumstances contrived to throw the damsel in harm's way and have the hunk standing by; the damsel's tearful refusal to give in to his charms until his boiling sexuality just mows her down...oh, please.

Even the commercials I saw on Lifetime were offensive. One that was burned into my memory was an ad for Playtex bras designed for women with "healthy" figures. The models all squeezed their enormous breasts together as they said this, leading me to believe that whoever produced the commercial must have thought that anything smaller than a 44DD was somehow..."unhealthy."

Deeply offensive. And I'm not carping because I'm flat-chested, either. I'm in the middle when it comes to breast size, and I am perfectly content with what nature gave me, even if some obnoxious bra company thinks it "unhealthy." Okay, so they didn't come right out and say that normal-sized breasts were unhealthy, but they certainly implied it.

And now, this bastion of healthy bosoms and snot rags is going to be home to Project Runway?

I don't think so. I predict this match will last but a year. Once the Weinsteins see how execrable their ratings are, compared to what they were on Bravo, maybe they'll rethink their money-grubbing strategy and head back to Bravo. That's where Project Runway belongs.