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Does the latest "celebreality" series Splash have a unique enough twist to pull viewers in?
Funnyman Louie Anderson is one of 10 celebrities who’ll learn to dive in ABC’s Splash
Despite my fervent prayers, the popularity of the so-called celebreality genre shows no signs of ebbing anytime soon.
At this point, it seems as if D-list celebs have pretty much tackled every conceivable activity on reality shows, from ballroom dancing to ice-skating to boxing to rehab; in fact, I just read that we’ll soon be seeing something called Celebrity Bowling.
The latest show to enter this dubious pantheon is Splash, which finds a number of low-wattage stars learning how to execute high dives into a swimming pool under the tutelage of U.S. Olympic gold medallist Greg Louganis.
Based on a successful international format, Splash has brought in a pair of judges — U.S. Olympian David Boudia and USA Dive Team director Steve Foley — who will then critique the contestants’ diving performance in front of a live audience.
The 10 celebrity participants are: NBA basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; plus-sized stand-up comic (and former Family Feud host) Louie Anderson; Drake & Josh star Drake Bell; Chuy Bravo (a.k.a. Chelsea Handler’s diminutive sidekick on Chelsea Lately); Calgary’s own “extreme skiing airhound” Rory “Bushy” Bushfield; one-time Baywatch lifeguard Nicole Eggert; erstwhile Rudy Huxtable from The Cosby Show, Keshia Knight Pulliam (whom TV viewers with long memories will also remember as the winner of 2002’s celebrity edition of Fear Factor); Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh; former Girls Next Door star Kendra Wilkinson; and reigning Miss Alabama Katherine Webb (made famous when 73-year-old ESPN commentator Brent Musburger was criticized for his pervy drooling over her hotness during a football game in which her boyfriend, University of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, was playing).
Splash will have its work cut out for it when the show debuts this Tuesday; a quickie Fox knock-off special that also featured D-list celebrities learning to dive — called Stars in Danger: The High Dive — took a dive in the ratings, attracting a mere 3.4 million viewers when it aired in January.
It remains to be seen whether Splash will manage to round up more viewers than that, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that there’s a greater chance I’ll win a gold medal for diving at the next Olympics than there is of me watching this thing.
Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.