The Spin Crowd

Every glamorous media-related gig will become reality-TV fodder if channels like Bravo and E! have their way.

With: Jonathan Cheban, Simon Huck.

It’s become obvious that every glamorous media-related gig — fashion, advertising, publishing — will become reality-TV fodder if channels like Bravo and E! have their way. Yet publicity would seem to be uniquely fraught with peril for the participants, inasmuch as an inability to manage one’s own image doesn’t bode well for clients. Consider that while watching “The Spin Crowd,” a no-brainer for E! — Kim Kardashian, the net’s franchise diva, is among the producers — but a show of dubious benefit to self-proclaimed “PR powerhouse” Jonathan Cheban, who comes across as a complete knucklehead and an HR nightmare.

Already featured in a special with the equally groan-inducing pun “The Spindustry,” this half-hour series is billed as a “real-life office comedy,” which serves notice to take everything with a grain of salt. Still, Cheban’s odd-couple shtick with his Command PR lieutenant, Simon Huck, often hinges on all the ridiculous things Cheban says and does to his employees.

These include pressuring one to get collagen injections to puff up her lips, going so far as to make an appointment for her; and being overwhelmed by the suggestion that linking Mario Lopez to a product might inspire “Extra,” which Lopez hosts, to cover the event.

Does anybody need to pay several grand a month for that advice?

Huck confesses during the interviews that Cheban has “no level of self-awareness,” but if that’s meant to be endearing, in the context of a boss haranguing his employees, it falls utterly flat. Presumably, his bad behavior will make a younger audience identify with the women who work for him, but only if they can suspend disbelief regarding how rigged the entire exercise appears.

Scheduled to follow the season premiere of Kardashian’s show (hey, the E! folks’ lineup might be a trifle oily, but they aren’t stupid), the new program also features the by-now-familiar trick of opening with what looks like a preview of the entire season — providing glimpses of every meltdown, hissy fit and stressed-out moment to come.

“If you can survive the hell, the payoff is huge,” Huck says, by way of describing life with Cheban.

Maybe so, but after one turn of “The Spin Crowd,” I’m already feeling a tad nauseous.

The Spin Crowd

E!, Sun. Aug. 22, 10:30 p.m.

Production: Produced by Bunim-Murray Prods. Executive producers, Kim Kardashian, Jonathan Murray, Jeff Jenkins, Gil Goldschein; co-executive producer, Russell Jay; supervising producer, Katherine Brooks; supervising story producer, Grant Rickard; producers, Erin Paxton, Amy Elkins.

Crew: Camera, Marc Weichel; editor, Ben Salter. 30 MIN.

Cast: With: Jonathan Cheban, Simon Huck.

More TV

  • Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and

    Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and Heroic' 'Years and Years' Character

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of “Years and Years.” Russell T. Davies’ limited series “Years and Years” began with a birth, but it did not wait until the finale to book-end the story with a death. In the fourth episode of the multi-year spanning family drama, [...]

  • Hugh GRant photographed by Shayan Asgharnia

    Listen: Hugh Grant on Why He Would Kill Social Media if He Could

    Hugh Grant has been very active in U.K. press reform initiatives, but he knows the problem is even bigger than the media moguls who control the world’s major news outlets. That’s why Hacked Off, the campaign he’s involved with, is also expanding its scope to include the impact of online propaganda. “It’s particularly terrifying, the [...]

  • Veronica Mars -- "Heads You Lose"

    TV Review: 'Veronica Mars' Season 4

    “Veronica Mars” was a slap to the face of high school dramas when it premiered on UPN in 2004. Creator Rob Thomas took the well-worn “who killed the pretty teenager?” whodunnit and hard-boiled it, following a traumatized girl desperately trying to harden herself to the world’s harsh realities as she tried to solve the case. [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow

    Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow to Launch New Era at 'CBS Evening News'

    Though Norah O’Donnell had her first turn as anchor of “CBS Evening News” Monday night, she didn’t rely on any attention-grabbing tricks to carry the day. There was no flashy drawing board, no rattling off of unsettling, urgent headlines and no wrap-up of the day with a mawkish end segment calling up some element of [...]

  • Alton Brown

    TV News Roundup: Food Network Announces Premiere Date of 'Good Eats: The Return'

    In today’s roundup, Showtime releases a full-length trailer for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Food Network announces the return of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”  DATES After taking a break from the series, Alton Brown will bring “Good Eats” back to Food Network’s primetime lineup with “Good Eats: The Return.”  In its first [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content