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I Come to Bury "EliteXC Saturday Night Fights," Not to Praise It
July 30, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 

I try, I really do, to take a positive approach to TV criticism -- to get more joy from finding and celebrating the good than from gang-tackling and mutilating the bad. But sometimes, a show is so bad that its failure is, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, the CBS attempt to bring extreme fighting to broadcast prime-time TV can now be considered an undeniable, embarrassing failure. Hooray for our side!

kimbo.jpg

The first outing for Elite XC Saturday Night Fights, back on May 31, was conceived and executed so poorly that the live broadcast's main event, with extreme fighter Kimbo Slice, took place more than 30 minutes overtime. Even so, curiosity attracted an estimated 4.8 million viewers, a good showing for a holiday weekend Saturday night.

But last Saturday's second edition drew only 2.6 million viewers -- a 43 percent drop, which is more like a plummet. CBS says it still plans to broadcast the third edition, scheduled for Oct. 4 -- but since that one will come when the TV season is in full swing and competition is fierce, it's a good bet audience levels for that one will sink yet again.

xfl-e.jpg

NBC's XFL experiment -- a horrid football hybrid supplied by the World Wrestling Federation -- started strong, then failed quickly a few years ago. Its tacky play, and tackier cheerleaders, disappeared in 2001 after a single sorry season. When it did, that was good for TV.

Considering how awful the CBS Elite XC show is, and how its success would have opened the door to other TV sports trash, its fast flop is another cause for celebration, at least for anyone who cares about quality television.

Of course, the summer success of ABC's Wipeout makes it more of a wash... But these days, let's take our little victories where and when we find them.

 

4 Comments

 

Curtis said:

Hey! What's so tacky about that cheerleader? Love the site, by the way. Thanks for the hard work. (Didn't mean to pick on that young lady in particular -- but if you saw them in action, they acted like ringside wrestling assistants. And thanks for the nice words about the site, and, sigh, the work. -- David B.)

Comment posted on July 30, 2008 7:40 PM


Dave said:

Is the main reason you didn't like the show because you don't like the sport? (No, actually, the mean reason I didn't like the show was that it was horribly produced. The secondary reason is that, as presented, it lowered broadcast network standards, which are plenty low enough as it is. -- David B.)

Comment posted on July 30, 2008 8:58 PM


MIke said:

I wish the XFL was around today. It was groundbreaking, from the camera usage to the player uniforms to the cheerleaders to the commentary and level of players. it is very missed, considering today's lack of talent n the NFL.

Comment posted on February 7, 2010 2:38 PM


CidJo said:

The two best reasons to watch the XFL right there

Comment posted on February 28, 2011 2:22 AM

 
 
 
 
 
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