It was not a good week for ancient mysteries on TV. Ancient Aliens suffered a massive tumble in the ratings, losing around 20% of its viewers as its total viewership fell to just 881,000 for Saturday’s episode, ranking at the seventy-fifth most watched show that day. By contrast William Shatner’s The UnXplained, airing an hour later, cracked the top fifty with 946,000 viewers. Once again, a greater number of viewers under 49 tuned in to Shatner, giving his show the edge. Neither, of course, could hold a candle to Food Network’s 11 AM showing of The Kitchen, which trounced both in total viewers and in the demographic.
However, both of these shows look like ratings gold compared to the complete and total failure of Rob Riggle’s self-titled Rob Riggle: Global Investigator. The unfunny attempt to remake old episodes of Expedition Unknown with stale ethnic jokes cratered in the ratings, bringing in just 652,000 viewers on TV’s most-watched night of the week. The show aired on the Discovery Channel, one of cable’s highest-rated and most widely available networks. The only bright spot was that Riggle attracted slightly more young viewers than Ancient Aliens, though not as many as William Shatner.
Riggle’s episode searching for the lost city of Atlantis sank beneath the waves as timeslot competitors like History’s Food That Built America, TLC’s Sister Wives, HGTV’s 100 Day Dreamhome, and HLN’s Forensic Files II easily outdrew it. On the other hand, Riggle managed to wriggle out of complete humiliation, drawing more viewers that USA’s glossy cheerleader murder mystery Dare Me and Paramount’s Bar Rescue, though the latter outdrew Riggle among younger viewers.
Given that Discovery had programmed Riggle behind its ratings powerhouse Naked and Afraid, a top-10 Sunday show with 1.3 million viewers, the loss of nearly half the lead-in audience must be disappointing to Discovery. More so since Riggle lost nearly a third of the Discovery’s 10 PM Sunday timeslot viewers from the week before, when a Naked and Afraid: Alone episode aired at 10 PM. Boo-hoo. I am crying.
Riggle’s ratings woes are the latest failure of celebrities to interest audiences in pseudohistory. Megan Fox flamed out with her even lower rated Legends of the Lost, and Zachary Quinto’s In Search Of has struggled to capture an audience beyond the core Ancient Aliens viewer. Even Shatner’s ratings are a shadow of what similar programs were pulling only five years ago. Celebrity isn’t what it used to be.
Oldie But Goodie
3/11/2020 11:04:10 am
Interesting demographics. The younger audience favors an over-the-hill, almost 89 year-old actor ( Shatner will be 89 on March 22nd) over a failed, almost 50 year-old, comic.
3/11/2020 11:07:10 am
Bernie Sanders will probably drop dead during the United States Presidential Inauguration
Bernie can retire
3/11/2020 11:18:27 am
AOC turns 35 in October 2024.
3/11/2020 12:26:07 pm
How is he "failed"? He's been working steadily in the field since 1998. Were you unavailable for the Rob Low Comedy Central Roast? Riggle made time for it.
3/11/2020 01:02:16 pm
He's not funny.
3/11/2020 01:29:50 pm
While I have to confess to not being familiar with his work, "funny" is subjective and "not funny" ≠ "failed". Once again, look to the grapes.
3/11/2020 02:02:58 pm
If you don't understand how someone who is not funny would be called a failed comedian I can't help you.
3/11/2020 02:32:45 pm
Let's see: working steadily in film, TV, and stand-up since 1998, repeatedly hired by different entities, reported net worth of $10 million but "not funny" makes him "failed". You're right, you can't help me.
3/11/2020 02:48:54 pm
3/11/2020 04:43:37 pm
Good Lord and Holy Bleeding Baby Jesus you are obtuse. Jim.
The G.O.A.T of putt putt
3/11/2020 05:53:52 pm
We should nickname Kent as Kent Kerry. He didn't mean sour grapes before he meant sour grapes. Or did he mean sour grapes before he didn't mean sour grapes. What he wants to say in his head doesn't translate well once it makes it into writing unfortunately.
3/11/2020 06:07:40 pm
"If calling someone who is by any measure successful "failed" isn't sour grapes..."
3/11/2020 06:39:10 pm
Oh my goodness, what a successful professional football player Johnny Manziel is,,,
3/12/2020 01:01:56 pm
"Another Kentypoo success story.
3/12/2020 01:35:26 pm
Sure Kentypoo, I guess this means Scott Wolter is a successful historian.
3/12/2020 06:53:50 pm
A troll uses minimal effort and a lot of finesse to incite others to meltdown in a forum for their own amusement. However, it is Kent who frequently has the tables turned on him and is manipulated into extended meltdowns to the amusement of everyone else. That's why there are countless discussions here where half of the posts are extended rants by Kent and his running mate or alter ego Joe. If you are lurking about a forum 24-7 and are frequently responsible for half the content of an extended discussion then you are more of a cyber-village idiot than a troll.
3/15/2020 12:22:22 am
3/15/2020 01:27:17 pm
I would hope that Mr. Wolter's success on TV, which I presume is now (and hopefully henceforth) something to be discussed in the past tense, is not taken as an indication of success as a scholar of the various fields like archaeology, linguistics, history, etc. that he has exploited on America Unearthed. Am I wrong in assuming that the series has been cancelled or is it simply in hiatus?
3/11/2020 08:01:29 pm
Talking of cable... I laid a huge brown one earlier!
3/11/2020 10:05:50 pm
Mr. Poo, In light of the travel restrictions just implemented by President Trump, will your global trots be limited for the near future?
3/11/2020 01:44:47 pm
Who cares? Nobody. This hate blog has become a waste of electrons.
Joe Scales ghost
3/11/2020 01:46:25 pm
Yes but it’s all I have.
3/12/2020 01:45:22 pm
But I'm here every singe day and have a useless comment in every single column. Why don't I start my own blog? Dumb because I am.
3/11/2020 01:56:02 pm
Where is this “top 100” book you hyped on Twitter that you wrote will “blow the lid off s government conspiracy?”
3/11/2020 08:04:06 pm
I am a right hard bas**rd. So but my men in black books or I'll show how tough I am!
Holy Bleeding Baby Jesus
3/11/2020 03:12:06 pm
Oh No !!
3/11/2020 03:18:25 pm
Baby Jesus statue cries tears of blood caught on camera
3/11/2020 04:03:51 pm
Could just be fringe fatigue due to market saturation. At times it seems like one can surf cable TV in any given week and find three or four shows all looking at the same old mysteries that were being looked at 40 years ago. Then there are all the "documentaries" on youtube. Just how many times a week does the typical viewer, even one actually interested in the topic, want to be told by a C or D-list celebrity that ancient humans could not have possibly built some particular pile of rocks. Every time I watch a few minutes of any of these shows its deja vu all over again. It's like they just copied the script verbatim from circa-1980 paperbacks by the likes of EVD. There is a lot of people in the 1% but probably not enough to provide a market for so much fringe programing.
Sour Grapes again
3/11/2020 04:36:42 pm
Did you know that this particular “C or D-list celebrity“ is worth $10 million?
3/11/2020 05:03:40 pm
10 million is about 2/3 of what an A-lister makes for a single film. A B-lister probably pulls down around 10 million or more in a year.
Chairman of the Joint chiefs obvious
3/11/2020 05:37:32 pm
Be careful Doc. Any minute now Joe Scales is going to drop in and join Kent in arguing that Riggle's $10 million bucks after 20 years in show bizness means that he is right up there with Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lawrence and you are a hater for thinking differently.
3/11/2020 06:29:10 pm
I'm sure it would be a delightful conversation. However, my duties as co-co-coordinator of the upcoming St. Paddy's day festivities at my favorite Irish pub will keep me too occupied to comment any further than I already have.
Kentinuing the theme
3/11/2020 07:33:02 pm
Hey, that’s just the kind of stupid, sophomoric, frat house style humor that’s led to Riggle becoming a millionaire ten times over. Keep it up and you’ll be on your way!
Mama June is a millionaire
3/11/2020 08:41:13 pm
Or he could become a reality show star like Snooki from New Jersey Shore and become a millionaire several times over. Either way poor Doc still won't be replacing Tom Cruise on the red carpet. Sorry, maybe pick a better topic to argue next time.
3/11/2020 09:21:11 pm
Hey Chairman guess who could buy and sell Riggle twice over? I give you three hints:
3/11/2020 04:52:28 pm
Let's keep quiet about the believers in parallel stuff !!
I agree with this saturation hypothesis. And it is not only that they repeat the topics time and again, they rarely never add something new to the story. They only repeat things, although research concerning Atlantis is not static.
3/11/2020 05:06:14 pm
I believe in another kind of “saturation hypothesis,” although it has nothing to do with fringe fatigue on cable television and everything to do with a continuous crisis related to my Depend incontinence products!
Plato & Critias
3/11/2020 08:19:10 pm
Did Plato drag in Critias to buttress his Atlantis story in the same way that Louis Charpentier drag in St Bernard of Clairvaux to buttress his Templars finding the Ark in Jerusalem story
Every Joe Scales Impersonator ever
3/11/2020 04:46:49 pm
3/11/2020 05:42:39 pm
Maybe the show went over better in Atlantis
3/11/2020 05:45:29 pm
I didn't accuse Jason of anything here, the grapes remark was in reference to the previous poster . . . but “sour grapes" was a reference to the way Jason subtly notifies the reader that he thinks he should be on TV rather than the presenter of the day.
3/11/2020 06:57:46 pm
Some people find salvation in Atlantis and their abomination of abominations is the 9,000 year time lapse --- like the time lapse of the Gospels not existing during the first century without any mention of Pilate in relation to the crucifixion, which was depicted as a spiritual experience signifying a divine atonement.
3/11/2020 08:53:36 pm
Shatner is the hardest working guy in the industry...like Joan Rivers...the Shat will work till the day he dies. I actually met him two years ago on his Star Trek 2 36 anniversary tour...yes I paid an extra $100 to get a pic with him. Heck...meeting someone who was in Twilight Zone's best (ok maybe) episode and played Kirk was worth the money...ha ha
I paid an extra $100
3/11/2020 09:27:38 pm
Shatner's a hustler
3/11/2020 09:37:15 pm
I’d pay an extra $100 to be able to slap the glued-on toupee off his bald head.
Who am i to judge
3/11/2020 09:58:31 pm
If you look on Craigslist I am sure that you can find someone who offers that type of service.
Not that I would know
3/11/2020 10:08:08 pm
I think Craigslist stopped posting those types of ads a couple of years ago. Fetlife.com would probably be the place to go.
Kent after dark
3/11/2020 10:11:44 pm
I can do this. My wardrobe includes a Starfleet uniform and an Armani suit. We can make it a Star Trek- themed party or a Boston Legal- themed party for an extra $25 if you desire.
Grandmaster Scotty W
3/11/2020 10:24:17 pm
I'm currently between jobs and need money to cover production costs for my next vanity press book that will be on Templars banging Mandan indians. $75 and I will do it in my quasi-Indiana Jones outfit complete with authentic whip. You provide the toupee.
Responding to Kent
3/11/2020 10:46:17 pm
If you wear a tight fitting police uniform and make it TJ Hooker themed party, I’ll add another $15 to my offer
3/11/2020 10:46:50 pm
For three blankets and 6 sticks of tobacco I know a 7 feet tall Osage indian that will let you do that. Bring a step ladder.
3/11/2020 10:59:19 pm
For a wee dram o' glenfiddich Doc Rock's let me give her a good skelpin' and podgerin'.
Oldie But Goodie
3/11/2020 11:14:38 pm
Who else but William Shatner would get horse sperm as part of his divorce settlement?
3/11/2020 11:39:01 pm
Oh, a fluid fetish. $100 American plus shipping and handling and I send you a sample in dry ice that you fight over in court with the wifey. $500 American and I preside over the hearing dressed like Judge Judy with nothing under my robe and give you both a good scolding from the bench.
3/11/2020 11:27:10 pm
Throw in 30 smackers and Kent will resist arrest and require pain compliance as part of the freaky TJ Hooker scene.
Jr. Time Lord
3/12/2020 12:03:53 pm
What makes a man successful? The answer to this question has changed many times in my life. As a kid it was the trophy wife. Lee Majors was considered the most successful because of the woman he married. Farah divorced Lee and the title soon went to Billy Joel.
3/12/2020 04:41:35 pm
While Majors was starring on TV and hooked up with Farrah, Burt Reynolds was a major box office attraction and was hooked up with Loni Anderson. There is success and then there is success.
Jr. Time Lord
3/15/2020 04:12:49 am
I do not deny Loni Anderson has her own cult following. Judging by The men who mentored me, Farah was the greater prize. Not to objectify women. I know of no one who wanted to be Burt Reynolds. Dudes were more in love with the car. Majors on the other hand was the six million Dollar Man and Colt Seaver. I can still remember all the words to the theme song from "The Fall Guy". A TV show cancelled when I was 12. Yet, I can't remember the names or authors the majority of books I've read. I could see giving Burt an edge if he was a creepy stepfather. Pamela Anderson was quite beautiful before she became 96% human.
3/15/2020 07:02:42 pm
"Judging by The men who mentored me, Farah was the greater prize."
The ultimate success
3/12/2020 05:21:34 pm
Rock Hudson hooked up with Jim Nabors AKA “Gomer Pyle.”
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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