9 TV hits that should be flops

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Dancing With the Stars
Hit proof: Still one of the most-watched reality shows on TV after 15 cycles, averaging 14.3 million viewers this season including DVR.
Why it shouldn’t work: Let me get my list. First, it’s called Dancing With the Stars! You’re used to that name now, but remember the first time you heard it seven years ago? It sounds like a show from the 1950s airing after Wagon Train. Two, it’s about ballroom dancing. The only televised tango when this show launched was on low-fi networks like PBS. Three, several shows that have tried to replicate Dancing‘s celebrity-and-a-pro pairing format have failed, like Fox’s Skating with Celebrities, ABC’s Duets and NBC’s Stars Earn Stripes.
Why it does work: It’s dancing — man’s first form of communal entertainment from back in the caveman days. That primal appeal doesn’t change no matter how many sequins you add. Also, viewers enjoy watching celebrities compete against each other in a challenging new environment (one reason Celebrity Apprentice works too).



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