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CNBC's Big Idea: Shelve Donny Deutsch

Fewer than 50,000 viewers can't be right

With ratings so low it regularly "scratches" on Nielsen's ratings, it's curious that CNBC had to find another reason to put Donny Deutsch's 4-year-old The Big Idea on hiatus. Big Idea was just shelved because brass thinks a program about success just doesn't gel with today's economic climate, according to TVNewser, and not because nobody is watching — and certainly not because NBC is laying off 3 percent (500 jobs) of its work force in an effort to cut more costs.

Yes, Deutsch, the advertising exec-cum-television personality who also writes the Gotham column "Deutsch Mark," will lose his show because unlike his "a sleek, chalk-striped, navy Ralph Lauren suit and Gucci loafers," the show just doesn't match well with the current recession. And yet somehow CNBC will allow Jim Cramer's Mad Money, about picking stocks in a market even Cramer doesn't think you should invest in, to continue.

Susan Krakower, VP of CNBC's strategic programming and development, told Success magazine in a profile of Deutsch, "Donny is the epitome of the American Dream, the mouthpiece of America, who truly wants everyone to succeed … The American Dream is about going for that big idea, breaking the rules and going forward. Donny is so authentic because that????????s where he comes from." And … the American Dream is dead.

[Photo: Success]

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Comments (29)
No. 1 · Joel

When the show first came out I think it was a weekly show and it wasn't bad. Or maybe it was just occasional specials. I dont' remember but it was around the time that Tina Brown's show came out Topic A or something like that. The problem for these shows is that most people watch CNBC during the day at work or while day trading. Do people stil day trade at home? Good economy or bad economy no one wants to go home and watch more shows about work related stuff. People would rather watch Sportscenter. CNBC really should click off at 8pm EST and NBC Sports should take over for a few hours. With it's recent purchase of WCSN now Universal Sports they have low cost sports to fill the time frames. On Sunday they could have numerous pre-Sunday Night Football pregame shows.

To sum it up I don't hate Donny but 60 minutes of him 5 days a week is too much. Keep him on for 10 minute segments every day. Bring back Business Center and give him the last 10 minutes for his brand of news.

Posted: Dec 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 2 · cwrite

Too bad. I think we need talk of entrepreneurship more than ever. We have to start thinking outside of the box; our very survival as an economic power and as a people depend on it.

Posted: Dec 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 3 · Madison McGraw-Girl Arsonist

Bummer. I love The Big Idea…I think now, more than ever, it should be on the air.
I find it hard to believe there aren't people out there making business work despite the economy. If ever we needed to hear those stories, it's now.

Posted: Dec 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 4 · pres

You've got to be kidding. I just watched Donny's sign off. I know soooo many people who watch this show and it keeps them inspired.

There are some real pinheads running CNBC. The time for this show is now!

Posted: Dec 4, 2008 at 11:02 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 5 · Joshua K

Wow I've been watching this show since 2004 and it's been very inspiring. After Friends and Frasier left the network NBC lost the few good programs they had. Now they're losing the rest– Leno's leaving and now they're screwing over this show? NBC's pathetic.

Posted: Dec 4, 2008 at 11:02 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 6 · Eric

I honestly can't believe the show is gone yet. It was like my daily 10pm dose of inspiration and perspective of everything from an entrepreneur perspective. We need it now more than ever. Ratings? Nielsen ratings are such BS anyway. Just big dumb cable execs imploding because old media is dying off. Deutsch should say screw them and make a video blog, sell advertising himself.

Posted: Dec 4, 2008 at 11:42 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 7 · lisa jacobs


Posted: Dec 5, 2008 at 12:20 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 8 · Tim Mahoney

Hey CNBC…Whose idea was it to shelve "The Big Idea"? I watched the show every night. Donnie Duetsch was such an inspiration. Maybe the show would have lasted through the recession/depression if they never bothered asking the ever-annoying Charlie Gasparino to guest star. He is such a bore. All he did was disrupt the proceedings with his constant interrupting. During a show the other night, I so wished Dylan Ratigan would have jumped onto the set and beat Charlie to a pulp. Donnie is gone and Charlie is still employed. What a shame.
I hope the network will revisit this decision.

Posted: Dec 5, 2008 at 9:39 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 9 · Becky Logue

I'm so disappointed to hear that they are going to stop airing 'The Big Idea'. It's small businesses & ideas that are making jobs right now & the country could use some positive news instead of all gloom & doom!

Posted: Dec 5, 2008 at 10:08 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 10 · Jeff Gerstl

Donny's show was very fun to watch and inspiring until earlier this year. It was neat finding out about new companies and products. I loved the Big Idea/Bad Idea segment, the Elevator Pitch, things like that. The inspiring interviews with special guests on what makes them tick, etc. I noticed that for the past year and a half or so, Donny would "introduce" new segments and formats, carry them for 2-3 months, and then scrap them for something else. Obviously he felt something wasn't working or he was just impatient that things weren't catching on well enough.

A few months ago (July, maybe?) the show began to turn into more of a political talking head show and even Donny was showing that he was disenchanted with the direction America was going. No longer was it about inspiring stories and new ideas (The Big Idea, mind you) but it was about how we were in the crapper financially and things were dismal and hopeless. It was not the Donny Deutsch that we had come to love (or hate). Donny was getting to the point where every night's topic was almost exactly the same thing with a new story added once in a while. It was the same "experts" all the time. They were all shouting and talking over each other and arguing and Donny could barely hold his show together. One night I was watching and a friend of mine who doesn't watch thought I was watching The View because of everyone clucking like hens and nobody making a clear thought. And all of these callers and people talking about how they are losing everything and need help and Donny saying "I wish I could help you my friend." So unlike Donny…

Maybe it's going away because it is NOT the Big Idea anymore or fun to watch at all. It's now Recession Talk with Donny Deutsch. Donny needs to return to the roots of the show, somehow, and come back to us when it's easier to do the old show again. I've still been recording it every night on my DVR, but lately I have been getting through each show in less than 10 minutes — there is NOTHING NEW and NO messages that could help me.

RIP, Big Idea….love ya for trying Donny!

Posted: Dec 5, 2008 at 9:31 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 11 · Gregg Moscoe

Well, I submitted this idea over the summer and got chosen for the web cam call, but wasn't available that day. As I've continued watching, I, too, thought the show needed something to lighten things up with. So, about a week ago, I decided to take another shot and videoed the bit myself.

Was about to send it off when I saw the news the show got canned.

Sorry to have missed the opportunity, and sorry that a show that actually encouraged people to go for it, has gone down in flames.

Hope you have some fun with the clip.

Posted: Dec 8, 2008 at 7:12 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 12 · Donna

Agree with Tim Mahoney's comment. Charlie Gaspirino killed The Big Idea. A real shame this is, because Donny was a hero to me. I used to love watching his show and was so inspired by his guests, the product lessons, and the feedback he made available on his show.

I especially loved the full length interviews he did with Bill Gates, Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump and more.

I don't get it… There still seemed to be such great opportunity for Donny to bring incredible motivational speakers onto his show. I can't figure out why The Big Idea took the direction it did - a constant series of bickering between Donny and Charlie. It was enough for me to tune out and turn off.

I will say this… Donny has given us many, many gifts through The Big Idea. I sincerely thank him for his passion, support, and encouragment of the American Dream.

We'll miss you kid…

Posted: Dec 10, 2008 at 7:27 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 13 · Bring Donny Back

If you're like us and LOVE The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, then please let your voice be heard by signing our online petition:

We miss you Donny, and can't wait until you're back!

Posted: Dec 11, 2008 at 12:02 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 14 · Terri

Bring back Donny, Bring back Donny,Bring back Donny,Bring back Donny,Bring back Donny.

Posted: Dec 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 15 · Mike

I was severely turned off to Donny when he came out as an Obama supporter during the election. Entrepreneuralism (the ideology that The Big Idea promoted.. and got me excited about) couldn't be any further the polar opposite from the Socialism that Obama is looking to impose upon this country. The idea of bigger government, and in turn, increased taxes and endless regulation - contradicts the innovation, achievement, individual liberty, success and fulfillment that Donny seemed to be promoting every week night. Donny turned out to be a contridiction to me and therefore, I'm glad the show was canceled.

Posted: Dec 26, 2008 at 10:45 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 16 · Nikii

CNBC: If you're reading this: Please bring back the show! I was a faithful viewer of The Big Idea. I watched it EVERY night, and even watched it twice a night (when it aired at 10pm and 1am). I loved the show and it helped me grow my own business. It was such an inspiration! In fact, I went from nothing, to a thriving online writing career in just a year and a half. I watched The Big Idea (and Donny) nightly and used all of the tips and advice to make my own dreams come true. Further, in this economic climate, people need to know even more that we can make our own dreams come true (with dedication, focus and diligent work.) So please, CNBC, bring back the show!! (lol) Thanks for your consideration! :-)

Posted: Dec 30, 2008 at 10:59 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 17 · Pat

I literally was the last guest that never made it on the show. The producers tried to get us on the show twice. The first time was to be in September but our segment got cancelled because Bush signed the bailout and Donny's format changed. The second time was in early November. We were live, on the phone and they ran out of time because Donald Trump Jr. and Steve Gasperano's egos were too large and neither of them could shut up so Donny could talk to us. We would have been the very last 'regular' guests that Donny had. CNBC needs to bring back the show that we all know and love. I used to be so inspired by the guests that would come on the show with a new idea or product and Donny and his panel of experts would give advice to. Our big idea is still alive and we would love to inspire others. Hopefully, the show will come back and they will have us on.

Posted: Dec 30, 2008 at 1:37 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 18 · Rocky Tilney

Big time bummer. The show was great (except for the last few months of economy chat). My wife and I who own our own small business looked forward to the daily dose of inspiration, we like to see the success and challenges that other people faced. This show was about PEOPLE; not corporations, markets, overpaid CEOs, mortgage firms, failing auto industry and other nonsense that CNBC spews all day. It's about the regular folks, those who live on Main Street. CNBC should bring the show back, and not the Chicken Little version, the American Dream version.

-Bummed in Silicon Valley

Posted: Dec 31, 2008 at 12:21 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 19 · camden

The show was cancelled by two old lady trash tv producers, who had it out for Donny!!! These women should be fired for their terrible decisions and practices, but instead, their contracts get extended and they get raises. They are pitiful hacksM CNBC is pathetic.
of o

Posted: Jan 7, 2009 at 6:33 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 20 · Aaron

They didn't cancel his show because it was about business owners and the American Dream. The show actually was doing good when it was about that. People stopped watching because it turned into a political show always talking about how bad things were in the economy. How bad things were on Main Street. If he didn't have to steal Obama's stupid saying, "What happens on Wall Street affects Main Street" junk then maybe it would still be on the air. He did it to himself.

Posted: Jan 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 21 · Mario

I watch CNBC on a regular basis and I loved this show! cant believe that they have "put it on hold"! When times get rough and the economy is bad, that????????s when the good old American spirit should be at it's highest!. This show was all bout getting over the bad times and going out there and making things better! This is what is needed during these times! BRING IT BACK!

Posted: Jan 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 22 · Craig

Havent missed the show a bit. Listening to Gasparino and Deutsch try to talk over one another at the end was unwatchable.

Posted: Jan 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 23 · Agnes

I WANT IT BACK TOO! Lot of people need that show as inspiration, the old version of the show, of course. Especially now, when the economy is bad…

Posted: Feb 3, 2009 at 5:34 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 24 · Mikey

Donny should know better than to stop inspiring the American dream. As an Ad exec he knows that a business must market thier image even moreso in bad times…so too Donny should have kept the format of regular people who are making it, or trying to, in business. We do not need another media spectacle of economic politics, there are enough of those boring regurgitated programs. PLEASE! Come back Donny!! But this time keep it real for every entrepreneurial Kingpin who has succeeded, or trying to, despite the odds or whatever is happening with political BS.

Posted: Feb 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 25 · Mike

I CAN'T believe what I just read. NBC decided to take off Donny Deutsch. And to think Miss Krakower's statement in success magazine was "the American Dream is dead" How pathetic that she is in charge of making part of the decision to remove Donny.

As a producer in TV myself for 8 years I was exposed to TONS of executives that got into Power Positions and made 95% of their decisions based upon their own EGO's and NOT on the true "merits" of a situation, show or personality.

For Miss Krakower to actually say "The American Dream Is Dead" shows each of us the "true" person behind the person.It shows her cynical side….it shows how out of touch she is with what DRIVES people and the economy in tough times- HOPE!!! And it shows her sheer IGNORANCE in mindset position -how sad!

I don't believe a truly "smart" VP would ever take such a stance at least to say that out loud. What the American People now need more than EVER….is HOPE !! Not some ignorant lady in a "cushy" job and waaaaay out of touch with human psychology.Donny might have been the ONLY true "cheerleader and champion" on any network during these tough times.

Posted: Feb 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 26 · Mike

Deutsch is a supreme jerk. I watched him on his backup gig as a commentator on CNBC last night and he revealed essentially how he hates American workers. Hates them. He thinks that foreign workers working here for American companies under the H1B visa plan SHOULD NOT be layed off before American workers.

To me that is just indicative of more of the same old corporate anti-Americanism (Americans are lazy, unreliable, etc) that pervades the media. It's the same types who hate unions. It's the same types that thinks it's ok to flood the country with slave labor, i.e., illegal aliens.

Deutsch is a worthless smudge is his show stunk.

Posted: Mar 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 27 · candle

If that woman thinks the American Dream is dead, she should be fired herself. But Donny's show needs to be gone as well.

The show lost me because of Donny's scandals and arrogance. It started off as a good show about whatever was on Donny's mind, with a hodgepodge of celebrity interviews. You tended to get the entrepreneurial, ad man's point of view instead of the run of the mill journalistic point of view so it was kind of interesting. Case-in-point Jaclyn Smith (Charlie's Angel) came on and talked about the details of her business instead of her hair and what it's like to work with so and so.

Then, the show's bad ratings caused them to re-vamp the show into a "how to start your business/ inspirational" show. That's what most of the posters here seem to be talking about. Fine, but that's an even smaller audience, I'm afraid. But, the real problem is Donny himself. When a person becomes an inspirational guru you really need to look up to the person. Donny's arrogance oozes on screen.

For any woman who read anything about him or listened to him his womanizing, leaving women with babies on the way, failed marriages, taking up with a married Wall Street mogul's wife and more isn't a great image. Overall the show has morphed too many times, it's message has become too narrow, and I'm afraid to some people — Donny's the oily, arrogant son-of-a-bitch self-lovin' tycoon who brags about his money and his prowess with the ladies often enough you can't wait to see him leave already. As Donny said to the latest woman who gave birth to one of his brood — bah bye.

Posted: Mar 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 28 · Vince McKinnon

I swear, the exec's at CNBC must all be on drugs. The Big Idea and Donny D are the only constants you guys had. It was a show for real people. The average person just trying to make their way through all the BS with the banks, mortgage companies, auto manufacturer failures and the goverment pulling our chains and feeding us crap! The country needs Donny and his straight at you attitude!!

Posted: Apr 7, 2009 at 1:21 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 29 · Jaimie J.

What is the world coming to. I don't want people telling me what stocks to go out and buy to help destroy my finacial future, or what bank is going to screw me next. I certainly do not need to hear the goverments promises of what they are doing to save my job and yet can't logically find a way to help fund a new start-up business owner. With everything that is wrong with our country and the finacial situation that is being forced down our throats on a daily basis, The Big Idea and Donny made sense. Wise up CNBC!

Posted: Apr 7, 2009 at 1:39 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
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