Olbermann to Current TV? Has he met the neighbors?
(Image via Peter Kramer/AP)
Keith Olbermann is going off the air. I'm sorry, I mean, "moving to Current TV."
I feel almost bad for him.
Yes, Current TV reaches 90 million households. But so does the USPS, and that wouldn't make switching to it a positive career move for Olbermann.
As a vitriolic MSNBC host, Olbermann was mocked by "SNL" and castigated by Jon Stewart. On Current TV, anything he does will be monitored, rapt, by an audience of maybe six goldfish whose owners thought that CSPAN was making them too rowdy. At least on CSPAN there might be a bad breakup during an interview with rising conservative intellectuals.
What is there on Current TV?
Well, there's "infoMania", which is, according to its website, "a weekly half-hour satirical show that puts a comedic spin on the 24/7 media overload" -- so, similar to "The Daily Show," in the sense that when I talk to myself in the shower for half an hour about topical events, that is also similar to the Daily Show, although I think someone might actually be watching me shower. I hope this move changes things for the folks behind "infoMania." They seem cool, at least based on the four-minute video of one of them buying porn from a Craigslist ad that I watched until my cubicle mate said it was disrupting his workday.
There's something called (Dave Barry is not making this up) "Kill It, Cook It, Eat It," which links you to a video titled (again, not making this up) "Pig Castration for Maximum Flavor." It's as if Current TV is actively trying to discourage anyone from watching it, ever!
There's also a show called "SWAT: Miami Dade", and a documentary series titled "Vanguard", both of which look all right. And a televised version of "This American Life" whose most recent episode featured a 14-year-old boy deciding that love is not for him. And a show with Ewan McGregor and his best friend Charley riding motorcycles around the world. Welcome, Keith!
And don't forget "Bar Karma", premiering this Friday, about a bar called Bar Karma, "a mystical watering hole traveling through time and space, pops into its patrons' lives when they need more than a stiff drink. Every happy hour, the Bar Karma staff guides one lost soul through a crossroads in his or her life, using glimpses of the past, present and many possible futures." This was created by Will Wright, of "The Sims" fame, and someone else, of "Spongebob Squarepants" fame -- a merger that sounds as if it were designed by the same guy responsible for AOL + HuffingtonPost -- and it might revolutionize television. But then again, it might not.
"Bar Karma" allows you, the user, to generate the show you would like to watch. At least, this is what it would do if "Bar Karma" were the show anyone would like to watch. I'm not saying it's not, but "Bar Karma" has fewer Twitter followers than I do, and that takes real effort. I frequently make terrible puns, and I reach nowhere near 90 million households, unless I am trying to get to Utah and the Mapquest directions are not very specific.
This is like Conan's move to TBS, but infinitely sadder, because sometimes you actually watch TBS because a friend of yours is on "Glory Daze", and he's a good guy.
But what a move -- from MSNBC to Current TV, the network run by Al Gore, America's most famous public ineffectual! This is, of course, anecdotal, but have you ever met anyone who admitted to watching Current TV? I haven't! Regular Current TV viewers are like Yetis. I don't believe they exist.
Maybe Keith Olbermann can change that. But right now, if he makes a controversial comment on Current TV, I'm not fully convinced it will make a sound.
| February 8, 2011; 5:30 PM ET
Categories: Epic Failures, Petri, Reality? Television | Tags: Keith Olbermann, oops, tv
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