Saturday, July 15, 2017
MTV plays it safe
You just have to sit through some commercials, but a dollar is always a dollar. Especially for Viacom. So I stopped by the web site and watched the debut ep of SafeWord, the remake of the Brit format. MTV followed the original pretty closely. Celebs - in this case, Kevin Hart and Damian Dante Wayans - tried to embarrass each other. If they couldn't stand the pain, they yelled - you guessed it - a safe word.
Needless to say but I'll say it anyway, this was more improv comedy than game show. I suspected a lot of scripting, just as on the Brit version. Still, the format did have some gameplay rattling around the soundstage.
My main gripe was all the laughing at stuff that deserved not quite so many chuckles. But MTV probably required laughs at gunpoint from the studio audience. (All right, I really don't mean that.) Terrence J, a.k.a. Terrence Jenkins, hosted with lots of laughs himself, so he fit right in.
The show did okay numbers for MTV. 780K viewers and a 0.34 18-49 rating. The usual story for MTV: modest total viewer numbers but good (that is, young) demos.