News broke Thursday that the CW has cancelled its reality TV social experiment Famous in 12. The thing is, the story actually broke Tuesday but no one was paying attention.
Famous in 12 was an experiment from TMZ impresario Harvey Levin to see if a family from Podunk, USA could roll into Hollywood and become the next Kardashians within 12 weeks. That last sentence was phrased in the past tense because the CW put the kibash on the show after its fifth episode averaged only 518,000 viewers.1 For comparison, a Criminal Minds rerun on ION had 1.2 million viewers.2
News releases started circulating Thursday that the show had been yanked from the schedule. First off, duh. But here’s what makes this failed experiment fascinating: Tuesday’s episode ended with Harvey Levin breaking the news to the Artiaga family that they found the answer to the question serving as the thesis for this show in less than half the time mapped out. I don’t have a video clip to embed, but jump to the 38-minute mark on the episode to watch the announcement. If you’d rather not, here’s the gist: the Kardashians and Paris Hilton had connections before becoming famous, and being on TV does not necessarily make you famous. The audience is the final arbiter.
I’m sorry things didn’t work out, I guess. But how did half a million people manage to keep quiet about this until a formal announcement was made almost 48 hours after the fact?