For starters, “Breakthrough With Tony Robbins” couldn’t motivative much tune-in on NBC, slumping to less than 2.8 million viewers (and a grim 0.7 rating among adults 18-49) in the fast national Nielsens, down from its week-ago premiere.
Robbins surely must have a seven-point plan for salvaging this wreck by unleashing the power within you, or something, but if he’s been holding that back, better roll it out now.
Meanwhile, ABC’s second flight of “Shaq Vs.,” reminding us that Shaquille O’Neal sees basketball as just a day job, delivered 5.4 million viewers, which sounds better at first — until you realize that represented a dive of nearly 40% off its “Wipeout” lead-in. (The demo decline was only slightly better.)
While that does represent an improvement over last year’s premiere of the show, ABC (spin notwithstanding) can’t be particularly happy about the drop.
The networks have made some headway with original summer reality, but when stuff doesn’t work — a la the Robbins experiment — it really doesn’t work.
Maybe O’Neal will look better in a Celtics uniform. As for Robbins, although he told the Los Angeles Times that he resisted his famous fire-walking stunt, that’s about all the dignity the one-time infomercial king is going to wind up preserving from this exercise.