VH1 President Tom Calderone has told the Los Angeles Times that the network wants to tweak its formula to diminish its heavy reliance on dating shows like “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and “I Love Money,” which have been shelved after Ryan Jenkins — a participant in both programs — was sought in the murder of his ex-wife and subsequently committed suicide.
It’s common for networks to talk about doing kinder, gentler or at least more varied nonfiction (“reality” seems a stretch in this case) programming, especially in response to a crisis of some kind. But the truth is that VH1 is so deeply embedded in this genre — with shows like “The Surreal Life” and “Flavor of Love” giving rise to offshoots like “I Love New York” and “Charm School” (gratuitously pictured) — it’s going to have a hard time turning the boat around anytime soon.
So while it’s difficult to fault Calderone for publicly addressing this PR nightmare and trying to get past it — at no small cost, by the way, in dumping two completed programs — it will take months before there’s any evidence as to whether VH1 has made good on his comments about altering or evolving the network’s profile.
Until then, I suspect you’ll see plenty of boozin’ floozies and celeb-reality. And don’t hold your breath waiting for the adorable puppies and unicorns.