Less than 24 hours after the last of 33 Chilean miners was heroically rescued from the CENTER OF THE EARTH, Spike TV makes an IMPORTANT TELEVISION ANNOUNCEMENT. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Spike TV is set to announce a mining reality series from the producers of “Deadliest Catch.”

The network has ordered “Coal,” a docuseries chronicling the dangerous profession of coal mining set in West Virginia. The series is executive produced by reality powerhouse Thom Beers and his Original Prods.

Oh, you have got to be fucking kidding me! This is a joke, yes? Let me look at the calendar, because it seems impossible to me that I could have gone to bed in October and woken up on April 1st, but I have been very tired lately, so I suppose anything is possible. OH WAIT, NO, IT IS IN FACT JUST THE NEXT DAY AND THIS IS NOT A PRANK AT ALL. Unbelievable. And also unacceptable. Oh, and also, while just fundamentally as an idea and as a moment in time this is terrible and NOPE, but also read this part:

With the rescue of 33 Chilean miners drawing international headlines, the project should have little trouble generating interest from viewers and the media. But Spike executives note that “Coal” has been in development for nearly a year.

“It didn’t take a tragedy, and then a miracle, to get us excited about this,” said Sharon Levy, executive vp original programming at Spike. “Obviously, we’re humongous fans of the kind of shows Thom does that celebrate the everyday man. He said, ‘We’re working on this project called “Coal,” ‘ and we said we’d take it.”

IT DIDN’T TAKE A TRAGEDY, AND THEN A MIRACLE, TO GET US EXCITED ABOUT THIS, BUT IT DIDN’T HURT. Incredible thing to say! I know that I’m not an Industry Executive with Thousands of Years of Publicity Experience, but here is my pro-tip: if you are announcing a reality show based on an incredibly dangerous profession the day after the world sat collectively rapt at just how dangerous (and terrifying) that profession is, a) don’t do that, and b) if you are still going to do that, let the gross timing of your announcement and the tasteless drumming up of interest in your garbage television show on the literal backs of survivors go unspoken. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE SO ON THE NOSE ABOUT THE THING THAT YOU ARE DOING BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I feel like I’ve been typing in ALL CAPS a little bit more than usual lately, but that is just because the world needs to SHAPE UP! Here everyone on Earth, I bought you something:


Comments (65)
  1. ugh…remember when SPIKE TV had dignity?

    yeah, me neither.

  2. Don’t worry too much, the show will only be a miner ratings success.

  3. “I think I got the black lung, pops.”

  4. The people who keep coming up with these ideas need to sit down together and play a delightful game of russian roulette, only with a twist. There’s bullets in all the chambers. That way, everybody wins!

  5. I can’t think of anything funny to say because I watched that CBS special last night about the miners and it was so :( and :) all at once that I don’t know how I feel anymore.

    (Except maybe bad for that one miner’s wife who discovered his mistress during the tradegdy because that is clearly :( )

  6. Is it going to have Joey Fatone in it? Because he hasn’t been in a reality show for a while now, he’s due to try to get famous again pretty soon here, and I think I would watch that.

  7. The executive VP of Spike TV would use the word “humongous” in her press release.

  8. All of what Gabe said is true. Creepy timing, etc.

    But the bigger issue, in my mind, is that working in a mine is REALLY FUCKING BORING. It’s a bunch of men who slowly descend into the Earth to operate machines until it’s time to slowly come back up. They don’t usually get trapped or have anything at all happen to them.

    Why not just have a show called Monsters, where film crews shoot Videogum commenters sitting at their desks all day? DRAMA!

    • I would watch Werttrew search for the perfect .gif for 22 minutes. Can you imagine the suspense?

      • SCENE: A messy office in a small liberal arts college. Camera pans on WERTTREW, who sits in front of a computer. Mounds of ignored student work are piled all around him.
        Werttrew: Gotta find just the right gif….gotta find just the right….gif….

    • This guy can’t wait for the premiere:

    • I would like to take this opportunity to point out that there is a reality show about meter maids (and meter butlers?) that hand out parking tickets. ‘Boring’ isn’t a factor that gets considered when it comes to reality tv.

  9. After checking Spike’s website, I noticed it already airs shows called “1000 Ways to Die”, “Don’t Be A Victim”, “Jail”, and “Surviving Disaster”.

    I think you’ve already got this corner of the market covered, assholes.

  10. At this point I’d welcome a return of “Homeboys from Outer Space” over this crap.

  11. Well it’s no Amos ‘n’ Andy, but these days I have to take my Blackface wherever I can get it.

  12. I think what is most shocking to me in all of this is that the executive vp of original programming at Spike TV is a women…

  13. No guys, this could work! We just need to decide who to send down into the mine. I know the Situation got voted off Dancing with the Stars…

  14. So it’d be a bad time to announce my reality show about how awesome it is to bully gay kids?

    • Oh jeeze. Looks like Ke$ha beat me to it. http://music-mix.ew.com/2010/10/14/keha-new-album-cannibal/

      That “good, positive music” launches with anthemic new single “We R Who We R,” which will go out to radio stations across the country today. Ke$ha penned the topical tune in the wake of the news about bullying that has led to multiple suicides of gay youth lately. She hopes that the song, in particular, will be a pride anthem. “I wanted to inspire people,” she says, “to be themselves. It’s a celebration of any sort of quirks or eccentricities.” Of the album as a whole, she adds: “It’s fun as shit! So I wanted to give [my fans] that.”

      She wants to give her fans shit!

  15. So I know that the world is terrible and that’s it’s partly barf out there with a 90% chance of barfstorms with golf balls sized barfhail….but, that aside, 33 dudes getting brought back up to their families after being trapped in a black hole for TWO MONTHS!!! I mean, c’mon. That’s pretty awesome.

  16. lol…this is unacceptable?! Is this your first day? Gabe, not only is this acceptable, I’ve already accepted it, and I’m waiting for the inevitable ugly breakup of the ‘Coal’ team due to talks breaking down with the network and plans for an expected spinoff falling through.

  17. Obviously we’re humongous fans.

  18. yes Virginia, there is a black lung

    too soon?

  19. I guarantee this takes place in West Virginia and is sponsored by Mountain Dew.

  20. I am prepared to see literally hundreds of people dressed as coal miners in NYC this year for halloween. Part of me is like “too soon,” but then the other part is like “wait. Everyone made it out alive. Can it ever be too soon if it isn’t a tragedy?” And then the other part of me is like “Really, Spike? I’m tired of your nonsense. Except for ‘Deadliest Warrior.’ That show is sweet”

    • I would much rather see everyone dressed as miners this year, eventhough we all know everyone will either be snooki or the Situation. NYC is so predictable.

  21. i hope the spike executives get stuck in this cave

  22. Logo has a competitive reality show about floral arrangers, so really nothing on TV surprises me these days.

  23. Well they’ll have the hipster audience once these miners stay underground.

  24. Original Prods?

  25. This show will have nothing on Swamp People

  26. You should have gotten everyone on Earth a Shake Weight.

  27. Gosh, what other possible news story could this remind me of?


    “President Barack Obama said Saturday that steps must be taken to make sure such an explosion does not happen again.”


  28. I thought alot of the programming on Spike was not suitable for miners. This is a juxtaposition.

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