Remember in the mid-2000s when George Stroumboulopoulos packed up his gear in a little bindle decked out with Crass logo patches, decamped to the U.S. and took his shot hosting a real deal American network TV show? Well nobody really watched the American Idol-meets-Big Brother reality series The One: Making A Music Star when it debuted on ABC in 2006. It was cancelled after four episodes. So you'd be forgiven for forgetting.
History repeating, maybe, but it seems like Strombo's second bid for U.S. network viability is entering similarly dire straits. His newly minted CNN talk show, Stroumboulopoulos, pulled in the network's second-worst ratings of the year for its timeslot. According to Deadline, the new show managed 192,000 total viewers, 78,000 of which fell in the coveted adults 25-54 demographic. Compared to CNN's averages for the timeslot, that amounts to a 56% dip.
Blame competing against the NBA finals and the Tonys. Blame the public's general ambivalence towards Canadians (Strombo's interviewees that night included countrymen Martin Short and Keanu Reeves). Blame the viewers of an all-news network, who might actually want to hear news, and not whatever Martin Short is saying in one-or-another goofy register, especially during one of the newsiest news weeks in the history of news. Blame a stuffy, desperately unhip world that just isn't ready for a late night talk show host this fresh and in your face, a world that wasn't prepared for this totally outrageous paradigm. Or blame the fact that, as a TV show title, "Stroumboulopoulos" doesn't exactly roll off the ol' tongue. ("Did you see the CNN last night? The new show with Stroumby... Stumbo...the earrings guy?" "No.")
This week, Stroumboulopoulos moves to Fridays at 11 p.m., where people will for sure watch it.