Same Name product placement on Big Brother fails

CBS’ new reality series Same Name lost a large part of Big Brother‘s audience, despite the fact that promoting the new series took up a significant amount of time during Big Brother, including a visit by David Hasselhoff.

About 5.27 million people watched David Hasselhoff and David Hasselhoff switch lives, down more than 1.5 million from those who watched Brendon and Rachel fighting again. Same Name is the same kind of contrived series like Undercover Boss, except no one’s undercover during the heavily set-up fish-out-of-water situations.

Among viewers 18 to 49, there was “a 38 percent dropoff,” and Media Life called that “a disappointing debut.” However, it did do better than the repeats CBS aired in the timeslot; TV By the Numbers said that was “a slow start but still the best adults 18-49 ratings for the time period since the Survivor finale in May.”

I honestly wonder how much the extensive product placement helped or hurt the debut. The promotion dragged on and got annoying, and it actually made the series seem less compelling than some of its previews did. Then again, without the help of the Big Brother producers and houseguests, Same Name might have done even worse.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.