This week’s podcast: Pope makes Splash

Airplane! star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

This week, CHML’s Scott Thompson says he couldn’t believe all the Pope coverage. It didn’t surprise me. Papal elections, royal weddings, this is the kind of world events that networks can carry and be fairly sure they’ll draw a big audience. CTV, which sent Lisa LaFlamme to Vatican City, says they drew 1.1 million viewers last week when Pope Francis took his first balcony bow on a Wednesday afternoon. Not quite royal numbers but then again the Kate and her kin wear even flashier head gear.
Thompson points out that when the last Pope was elected seven years ago, there were few mobile devices in St. Peter’s Square. Nobody tweeted back then, either. Now Francis is tweeting in all caps, just like DRUNK HULK. Ah, progress.
We also talk about the return of Dancing with the Stars. Scott wants to start a pool for when Andy Dick falls off the wagon.
I bring up the ridiculous new ABC show Splash, which is just like a similar show Fox launched a few months back. It’s basically Celebrity Diving, with sorta famous and not at all famous people stepping off high diving boards. Former Olympians stoop to coaching, but the draw, I guess, is seeing stars like all time NBA points leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 65, smack into a swimming pool. Damn, he did such a good job with that Girls review, too. Other “stars” in the swim tank include Louis Anderson, former Cosby kid Keshia Knight Pulliam (man has she grown up) and Chuy from Chelsea Lately.
The show seems like something you’d see in the summer, maybe on E! or TLC, so watching ABC stoop this low is odd. Then again, this was the network that gave us the one reality show I wish they’re bring back–the ’70s extravaganza Battle of the Network Stars. It had Wonder Woman, that race between Robert Conrad and Gabe Kaplan…don’t get me started.
There could be a second season of Splash. Overnight estimates show ABC drew over 9 million viewers Tuesday night for the premiere, a strong second to NCIS in the timeslot.
More is discussed. You can listen in here.

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