Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dunce Cap Award: Fremantle Media

Fremantle Media acquired many of the Goodson-Todman properties some years back, and currently have two of them on the air---Family Feud & The Price Is Right. The company, otherwise, is known for the Fox  franchise, American Idol, but it seems they just don't have a clue about past personnel.

According to articles that have surfaced online, when it was decided to have Price mark the 40th anniversary of its relaunch (the series originally aired in the 50's & 60's, then returned for good in 1972), the suits at Fremantle decided not to invite iconic MC Bob Barker, who last made a guest appearance on Price three years ago. Oh, they ran clips from back in the day, but it would've been a smarter move to have Barker appear on stage with his successor, Drew Carey, one more time. However, Tuesday's anniversary show came and went and, aside from the clips, it seemed almost as if it was business as usual. Real smart, guys. NOT!

According to the article I read on Yahoo!, Barker says he's fine with Fremantle's decision to not include him in the broadcast in person. A staunch animal rights activist, Barker has ripped his former employers for adding new prizes such as trips to Sea World and the Calgary Stampede, taking on the all-too-familiar tack that those organizations engage in animal cruelty, despite claims to the contrary from those organizations. Such criticism may have played a role in Fremantle's decision, but such animosities should've been put aside.

This case of corporate brain cramping was something that Fremantle could've done without, however. When Idol returns in January, they'll have a completely new judges' panel, as the last of the original trio, Randy Jackson, shifts into a mentor's role. If he isn't careful, the ol' dawg may find himself being gradually phased out of the show. One more reason to give Fremantle Media the corporate Dunce Cap this week.

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