The 411 on VH1's HushHush: Blogger Backlash on the QT
Like the half million blogs (or so) launched everyday, VH1's show about blogs might end up suffering the same fate: premature bust.
HushHush is the name of the network's new pop culture series that's hoping mainstream buzz about blogs – is that still going on? – will be its ticket to a successful new programming gimmick. Their magic formula: take the editors behind wildly successful indie entertainment blogs, put them in front of a camera, and bam!, insta-ratings.
Unfortunately for them, the bloggers aren't buying it.
Last month, VH1 fired off invitations to audition to what seemed like anyone who had put their fingers on a keyboard and launched a blog mildly related to entertainment. Blogs including Just Jared, Hollywood Tuna, and even our own MollyGood and Jossip were pitched for the series. (To get it out of the way: As much as we heart VH1 and Best Week Ever, this blog didn't even respond to their emails. Getting pitched for that Joan Rivers show was insulting enough.)
Try-outs were held in New York and Los Angeles over the past couple weeks, with VH1 flying in potential on-camera talent for group auditions where bloggers – many of whom had never met before – were encouraged, according to one insider, to "act like they were friends" on camera and joke around with each other like old pals. (Or, as one hopeful put it, "Act like idiots in front of a bunch of producers who [themselves] didn't know what the fuck they wanted from us.")
More blogger backlash after the jump.
But while the auditions allowed the bloggers to build new social networks (we hear they're called "blogrolls"), they also gave the potential talking heads time to muse that "this type of show shouldn't be on television," says one insider.
What type of show? Essentially, a blogger roundtable that discusses the current pop culture topics — with the usual doses of forced snark and humor.
Says another put-off blogger : "It's obvious that these show producers want to capitalize on the large traffic our sites have, while getting bloggers on the cheap. I think they still see bloggers as celebrity wannabes (like Perez) but they don't understand that we're smarter than they think we are, and the lure of a 15 minute spotlight isn't quite enough anymore."
Adds another, "Not only is this format never going to work, they seem to be expecting [the bloggers] to do all the work promoting the show. If I wanted to give away free advertising, I'd sign up with Glam.com."
So the show marches on, with call backs and the regular casting nonsense. But the producers seem wildly unaware that the talent they're hoping to capitalize on – at least according to the numerous bloggers we spoke with – are barely on board. And the last thing you want your pop culture show to do is piss off the bloggers.
I "heart" VH1 2, They've helped me build my profile. That said, Viacom, is going to have to up it's game; meaning, we ain't so stupid we're going to hand over our user base. Maybe they didn't see the news on what Youtube and Myspace sold for....Hmmm. Seems "freinds networks" are more valuable than "network networks".
I dont get what the big fuss is. I think TV exposure is a lot bigger than the exposure any blogs have. The show will probably give blogs more exposure, and vice versa. On top of that the bloggers will get paid for their appearance, so its not like they're doing it for free.
I think the truly smart bloggers will know how to work this in their favor, but that just my opinion!
You mean nobody contacted ME to go on this show??!!!
I wouldn't be snobby about it.... but maybe I'm not one of those really "Smart" bloggers...lol
Seems a decent idea to me.
The problem might be that most bloggers aren't too happy with being identified and recognised.
I got invited to this. Good job they couldn't afford the air fare from London by the sounds of it.
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