Bravo’s promotion of Work Out‘s most recent episode, which featured trainer Doug Blasdell’s death, may have been sensational, but it’s nothing compared to what the network is doing now.
On Wednesday, Bravo issued a press release that shouted, “BRAVO’S ‘WORK OUT’ DEDICATION EPISODE DELIVERS IN THE RATINGS.” It says Tuesday’s episode “delivered 962,000 million total viewers and a series high of 731,000 18-49 viewers” and promises “another emotionally charged episode” next week, “in which viewers share in how Jackie Warner and her trainers honor the loss of their friend and fellow trainer.”
Could they make it any more apparent how gleeful they are that Doug’s death led to great ratings, and how they hope to continue to exploit our emotional response to it next week? I have no doubt that everyone involved with the show and the network were shocked and saddened by his death, but they might show that by having a little bit of class and sensitivity when dealing with it now.
The press release does not mention that the show dedicated only about five minutes to Doug’s death at the very end of the episode, in addition to an earlier phone conversation between Doug and Brian, despite having teased the episode as being about his death all week. But commenters on Bravo VP Andy Cohen’s blog have pointed that out, and to Bravo’s credit, the network has left the criticism online.
“You gave him about two minutes in a show which I wouldn’t have minded so much had you know chosen to hype the episode as a tribute episode. Doug deserved better,” someone named Kelly writes. And Robin echoes that, writing, “He deserved so much more.”