Literally Dredging the Swamp in Search of Ratings

If you want to sell a show to a cable network, try checking out the local swamp.

History has “Swamp People,” and Animal Planet is going to premiere “Swamp War,” which focuses on the Venom One rescue unit in Miami Dade/South Florida, in June. Per the press release for the latter, “One hundred percent of backyards in Miami and throughout South Florida have snakes; you just can’t always see them. Not to mention, dangerous alligators, aggressive iguanas and Africanized bees.” Gee, can’t wait to visit.

Discovery, meanwhile, will weigh in starting May 13 with “Swamp Brothers,” which is essentially a half-hour “odd couple”-style sitcom disguised as a reality series.

Swampbrothers One brother, Robbie Keszey, runs the largest venomous snake breeding farm in the world, per the press release. But he needed a partner, so he’s joined by Stephen, a former New York City bartender who turns into a latter-day Jerry Lewis every time a dangerous beast gets within 10 yards of him. They’re self-described “polar opposites,” with Shecky (er, I mean, Stephen) cracking off one-liners every time he has to wrangle a gator, anesthetize a caged lion or touch a 20-foot python.

Also set in Florida, it’s basically “Green Acres,” with a lot more greenery, and critters more exotic than a pig. Discovery will air two of the six episodes each week, so watch now, swamp lovers, because “Brothers” will have disappeared into the ooze before Memorial Day.

Frankly, I sort of enjoy the symbolism of programmers submerging into the swampy muck in pursuit of ratings. Unfortunately, I take more pleasure in that symbolism than I did wading through the comedy stylings of “Swamp Brothers.”


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