Saturday, July 19, 2008

What Happened to Celebrity Circus?

Is it gone? Will it return? Will he return? No hints on the NBC website except for this ominous sign-off:

“The circus has ended, but the performances live on.”

And who “won”? Well, not Janet Evans, the only contestant who impressed me during the one episode (#2) that I slogged through.

“Congratulations to Antonio Sabato, Jr.! The big winner of celebrity circus!” -- so reads NBC's declaration.

So they gave it to the HUNK. Maybe they liked his family's circus background. Or maybe the HUNK kept the people they were able to scam onto their midway coming back for more. For more. For more.

"Antonio is the most hottest man on television," reads one comment on NBC. "Too bad I am married!!!!"

Antonio told another source, “This means the world.”

And what to the world means Celebrity Circus? Were its lame allusions to a Cirque du Soleil style so ineffectual as to turn more people off than on?

Or might those earnest pretensions to high cirque art drive the public gratefully back to a more realistic big top not a third as fey and ten times more earthy and dangerous?

Surfing the net for clues, I find hissing bloggers ...

From MightyElroy: “Oh, where do I begin. First off, they start out with this warped techno-circus theme music, where everyone is trying to show how much energy and enthusiasm they have, but it looks forced. Then, we have the celebrity ringleader, former boy-band star Joey Fataine. Then there are the celebrities themselves...wait, don't you have to be famous to be a celebrity?" He graded it 3.0. The comments he drew averaged about a 5.0 score.

Last Wednesday, NBC shows came in far behind Fox and CBS. So You Think You Can Dance drew nearly 9 million viewers, Circus, 4.42 (down 16% from the previous week). Still, not so bad for a so bad a show?

(Putting TV ratings in perspective, for the week ending July 9, according to Nielsen, the top rated show, America's Got Talent, drew 12 million viewers; Number 20, Rules of Engagement, was seen by nearly 7 million.)

Reality TV represents a cultural leap from the old Circus of the Stars show that helped launch one of our modern day sawdust icons, David Nelson. “Realty” is now just that — real people (okay, some of them with pro backgrounds) competing to launch real careers before our eyes. Compared to which, Celebrity Circus must seem anti-climactic and a stale exercise to many viewers. Only seven "celebrities" competed. American Idol draws from hundreds of amateur talents hungering for the spotlights.

I would be surprised to see it return. However, four and a half million voyeurs (excuse me, viewers) ... Maybe they are already on a nation-wide search for next season's HUNK. Or simply an encore for Antonio?

Whatever sells.


henry edgar said...

david -- to me, celebrity circus was a mixed bag. many acts were boring and hard to sit through, some i enjoyed. i personally enjoyed the production many were given. it's hard to admit, but many times what i saw was superior to what i saw on my last visit to a tent show which consistently wins praise from fans and circus professionals for "keeping the tradition alive" despite some huge cutbacks. while some of the celebrity circus "stars" were incredibly bad choices, some may not have been great at their tricks but were good at selling their act, which is a big part of it. i personally think that whatever anyone thinks of antonio sabato jr, the real showmen of the past who made the circus what it was would have been jumping at the chance to put him into center ring and publicize him like the second coming. as a circus artist, he might not have been hall of fame material but as a performer, i think his flash and style would sell tickets big time and might be just what the circus needs at this time.

Showbiz David said...

very interesting, Henry. I thought the act done by Janet Evans on the second episode which I saw, was quite good, styling and a terrific payoff -- her hands around the neck of her partner as he moved higher and higher. Maybe the show has a future? Let's say "Dance" with its 9 million viewers was a full house. "Circus" with half that was a half house, not bad? Who knows, with his evident sex appeal and as you say showmanly manner, maybe Sabato get picked up by one of the shows. Yes, I agree, Showmanship & ballyhoo has much to do with a successful operation.

Anonymous said...

Off TOPIC: Floyd King I was just made aware of some comments made in March 2008 concerning Floyd King living in a Mobile Home in Macon, Georgia. Being a former Maconite, I lived there during the Floyd King Years. It should be noted that Floyd and Vicki King and family owned an elegant home in an elite part of town. I had the privilege of visiting with them many times over the years. Due to excellent counsel from the Show Attorny, Paul Conway, Floyd King was able to save his home - after the bankruptcy of The King Show in 1956.Unfortunately, the same was not true for Arnold and Esma Maley, Co-owners of the King Show 1954-1956.They lost their home in Macon, Ga during the bankruptcy. A comment was made on this blog to the effect that someone of Floyd Kings standing should not be living in a mobile home. The King Family lived the good life, not super rich by any means, but they certainly were not hurting financially. Floyd King worked for The Acme Corporation (Beatty-Cole) after losing King Bros. and Vicki King leased the title "King Bros Circus" and received royalties for same. It is true that after the death of Mrs. Floyd King, the home was sold and Floyd and his daughter, Linda did live in a modest mobile home. I would like to stress that this was in the very late stage of his life. Mr. King was no longer employed by the circus and I am certain that things may have been tough financially. However, this was not always the case - Just thought this info should be out there. Thank you - Charles Hanson