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TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.

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Marianne Paskowski



Miss America Now Homeless

March 30, 2007 3:32 PM

I was a little surprised that cable net CMT, which successfully aired the Miss America Pageant for the last two years, getting great ratings, dropped the annual beauty contest like a hot potato.

Last year the special attracted 3.1 million viewers and although this year’s telecast had dropped to 2.4 million viewers, both telecasts were CMT’s highest rated shows.

Those are more than respectable numbers for a cable airing. So does Miss America still have legs, and what network, if any, will pick up the show for next year? I cannot imagine a women’s network like Oxygen or Lifetime going there, potentially riling up feminist viewers. So how about Spike TV, with it’s young male audience? Or how about nowhere? Your turn to judge and hand out the tiara.

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Comments (16)

Joan:

Maybe in this time of American Idol and similar reality show overkill, it is time to respectfully lay that dinosaur to rest.
On the other hand, a good blogger who throws out interesting questions and stimulates us to think is a wonderful thing and will definitely be missed.

Marianne:

What was Miss America doing on CMT in the first place? It just didn't seem to work from any strategic direction.

Is the Miss America pagaent as faded as the historic Atlantic City Convention Center - - the ancient home of this annual celebration of beautiful women?

Take heart. There IS an audience for whom these pageants have NOT faded and that is the ever-increasing Hispanic audience. In most Latin countries, beauty pageants are exceedingly popular and important. As they are here among Latinos in the US!

So.....my suggestion is that Miss America be telecast in the US on a Spanish language network like Telemundo or Univision for an audience that truly appreciates this annual celebration of beauty.

The audience will likely be one of the largest for the pagaent in recent years.

Having trouble with the idea that Miss America would be telecast in Spanish? Well, I think it may require some getting used to....but there is evidence that many English speakers have no trouble watching Spanish TV for programs that you can easily follow without too much dialogue - - like soccer, or boxing, and well, let's admit it, are we really all that interested in hearing how Miss America contestents will help bring about world peace?

Bottom line: Miss America is worth watching, or looking at, no matter what language the it (she) is telecast in.

Happy trails, Marianne! I look forward to a Bert Parks sound alike singing "here she is..." when you land your next gig.

Joe Schramm

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Joan,

I think you're spot on dead right about Miss America, and thanks for pointing out shows like American Idol. Guess I forgot about that.

And oh, yes, I did not mention in this blog, that my TV Week tiara is, well for now a goner. .My choice. No problem, many new opportuniities, some so crazy you would not, could not believe, including a blog elsewhere. Will keep you posted.

Hope Jake has settled down, see you soon.

From the spit of sand,
Marianne

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Joe,
You're the pro about Hispanic marketing. I love your idea about taking the pageant elsewhere, somewhere I did not even thing of. CMT , I think did it's best moving it out of Atlantic City to Las Vegas. There's just something wrong here., with the demos.

And thanks for your kind words about Bert Parks singing me into my new gig. I didn't even know he was still alive, is he? Well, I am, and still kicking butt.

Hasta,
Marianne

We'll miss you -- but hopefully not for long.

All the best,

Seth

Marianne Paskowski:

Seth,
Things are abrew for "Little Miss Sunshine" here. You will be among the first I tell. But not for now. It won't be long. Still mourning Lucy, my 5 year old yellow lab, struck down, so early in her life, and to a much lesser extent, this stuff career stiff with TV Week. Don't get me wrong, I adore those people at TV Week. But time to move one and I am. In many directions, and it's becoming fun.

Warmest,
Marianne

Molly:

Marianne,

I have to agree with Joan. I think that maybe the pageant has outlived its live span. Having worked on three pageants -- Miss USA, Universe and Teen -- I've long thought that they are out of step with our times. It's time for them to take a rest. Since everything in TV is cyclical, then Miss America -- the show in question -- would come back another time.

That said, I bet someone will pick it up... just can't guess who.

Marianne Paskowski:

Molly,

Maybe it will come back in syndication on Tv Land, circa, 1950. Maybe that's where it belongs. But I will say I loved it as a kid.

Regards,
Marianne

Jeff Mulligan:

Marianne,

I'm shocked by what I'm reading, and hearing on the street! Best blog on the TV and cable business, and you're going away. I cannot wait to see your next venture. I'll be there for the reading--and commenting, if possible.

As for Miss America, times have changed and the market is speaking.

I guess the market is speaking at TV Week, too. Heard it was something about cutbacks. They cut the best stuff first?

Be well,

Jeff

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jeff,

You are the best. Let's just say stuff happens. But, for right now, let's just say, I'm the one making who's gonna make stuff happen. Will let you know. Thanks for being a first responder.

Regards,
Marianne

Cruiser:

Yo, Blondie,

What's this--you're going elsewhere? I'm gonna miss my Paskowski fix, so you'd better keep your commentaries going somewhere.

Then again, it's gonna be nowhere for Miss America.Tthe Spike idea won't work out unless you put the contestants in hot pants and halters, change the talent competition to a beer guzzling contest, and promise viewers that a "wardrobe malfunction" or two will occur during the program.

Good luck, Blondie. We'll miss you in this space.

Cruisin not bruisin

Marianne Paskowski:

Oh Cruiser,
Im so gonna miss your comments to to my blog. Always below the belt, we know what body part rules you and we love you for that. Yes, I will be somwhere, and so will Miss America. Thanks for your insights about my totally lame thought about putting it on Spike. You should be promoting this show.

Keep you posted,
Blondie

Jim Forkan:

Hi Marianne,
Sorry to hear you're leaving TV Week, but I look forward to seeing where you land next.
On Miss America, I'd thought CMT might be a good outlet for the pageant, given their shared Middle America appeal. So maybe GAC will consider picking it up?
But your suggestion of TV Land actually is a better one, what with their shared nostalgia appeal.
They could even repeat the past pageants, or at least the "best moments of..." clips, much as YES does with Yankees highlights of playoffs and World Series past. Or feature talent performances by the winners -- or some non-winners like Anita Bryant, who went on to make several hit records, like "Paper Roses."
Till we meet again...
All the Best,
Jim
P.S.: Yep, Bert Parks joined that Big Pageant in the Sky in the early 1990s.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jim,
Thanks for your email. GAC, CMT's rival makes sense and so does TV Land, or maybe the whole pageant just needs to be updated, even though CMT did that.

As for me, it was a great run at TV Week and now noodling with four somewhat "creative" opportunities. Will keep you posted.

Best of luck, back to you,

Marianne

John:

I haven't watched the Miss America pagent in many years and couldn't tell you who last won or where she was from, so no loss there. However, I understand you will be moving and that is sad. I haven't been able to read your musing for the last few weeks and when I get back I find out you're going. Bummer. John

Marianne Paskowski:

John,

Thanks for your kind words, and don't worry, I'll be soon musing, I hope elsewhere, altho I loved this gig.

Warmest,
Marianne

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