Harbert: Paris Hilton Coverage Hurting 'Simple Life'
July 13, 2007 7:52 PM
At the E! Networks cocktail party, president and CEO Ted Harbert said Paris Hilton’s recent incarceration publicity has served only to hurt the popularity of her “Simple Life” reality show and that a fifth season is in doubt.
“We all thought the publicity would help the show; we were wrong,” Harbert said. “It’s not doing well.”
The irony that Hilton’s real-life problems would hurt her “reality” show wasn’t lost on Harbert, who’s always managed to embrace the celebrity-obsessed E! culture without losing a wry sense of perspective.
“People watch it because they want to see what’s going on with Paris Hilton,” he said. “But now everybody’s covering what’s really going on with Paris Hilton. It makes the show seem contrived by comparison.”
Harbert said E! Networks pays broadcast-level prices for the long-running “Simple Life” series, which originated on Fox. “I’m not sure we’re going to do any more,” he said. “You can say it's a 50-50 chance.”
He considered. “In fact, you can say it’s 51-49 against.”