BUYER’S REMORSE: Secret Talents Of The Stars sounded like a lousy idea from the start – a pallid recombination of b-list celebrity dog and pony shows like Dancing With The Stars and Celebrity Apprentice, and one more depressing step in the transformation of network primetime into a non-stop variety show that had us longing for the days of Pink Lady And Jeff.
If you’re the kind of person who was drawn – even with some modicum of shame – to watching George “Sulu” Takei sing or Clint Black do a stand-up act, you’re going to have to find another way to fill your Tuesday nights as CBS had canned the show after its debut episode. The network announced its exit from the schedule last Thursday, barely two days after Tuesday’ night’s premiere, citing dismal ratings, according to Variety.
E! News elaborated, quoting a mere 4.6 million viewers on Tuesday night, an unprecedented smash hit on FX or AMC, but barely enough to pay the break room coffee bills at a major network, and all of them are going to have to imagine just what bright lights Danny Bonaduce, Ben Stein and Marla Maples were hiding under their respective bushels.
As Variety recalled, Secret Talents was one of the roster of reality shows ordered up by the networks to fill airtime made vacant by the writers’ strike, a trend that was supposed to swamp scripted shows and push them into a quivering little corner of primetime, where they’d meekly offer their hour-long procedurals and tittering sitcom laugh tracks to us with the pitiful countenance of a beggar in a February snowstorm.
Unfortunately, CBS spent their late night brainstorming sessions for new shows playing that game where you put random words in front of the phrase “The Stars,” a desperate long night that probably went something like this:
“Climate Change Of The Stars!”
“No, too downbeat.”
“Real Housewives Of The Stars!”
“Not bad, but we’ll have legal problems.”
“So You Think You Can Dance With The Stars!”
“Secret Talents Of The Stars?”
“You know, I think it’s time to take a break, guys. Let’s see if we can come up with something better tomorrow.”