E! Says No to Celebrity Sleaze


In an interesting though not totally surprising turn of events, the Cable-TV channel E! Entertainment has decided to display a more sophisticated range of television shows.

Instead of simply focusing on rather scandalous film and television celebrities, producers of E! Entertainment says they’ve now chosen to show “squeaky-clean” celebrities with more normal lives.

The change began a year ago when Comcast Corp., the owner of the network, bought out NBCUniversal and enlisted its “turnaround specialist” to redesign E! and make it more profitable.


The channel was already profiting much for Comcast and brought in $300 million last year, but the management recently found that stories on Christian football star Tim Tebow and faithful husband Kevin Jonas of The Jonas Brothers group get higher ratings than shows focusing on sleazy stories like the troubled of former child star Lindsay Lohan.

The question is, how will viewers react to clean material, especially since the most-watched show on the network is KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS? It could be a good change. After Kim and her barely-new hubby divorced after a mere 72 days, complaints inundated the network.

“It was not the greatest period of time for the Kardashians or for E! in terms of negative feedback,” President Susan Kolb said. “You cannot be in the reality business and then be upset when reality happens.”

The complaints showed that viewers would rather watch clean programming promoting family and positive values.

Of course, E! is still keeping the Kardashian show, but perhaps the family will learn its lesson and appeal to higher values.

The change in content at E! doesn’t surprise Movieguide®, which has consistently shown with its Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry that clean content makes more money and is more popular than raunchy programming. For example, Cable TV ratings show that family-friendly sports programming, dramas and children’s programming outnumber the more edgy programming in the ratings. Also, family-friendly channels like The Hallmark Channel, GMC, and INSP are gaining in ratings. Thus, the change could, and should, produce even greater profits for E!.

The network is completing its change with a new logo:  classy black and white instead of bright red.

“E! is 21 years old, and, like any 21-year-old, we have to evolve into the adult version of ourselves,” Kolb said. “We are little bit more confident, a little more stylish and bold in a good way of knowing who we are and who we want to be.”

Let’s just hope the channel’s new marriage to clean content lasts longer than 72 days.

- Source:  Los Angeles Times, 07/10/12.

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