Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Tom Delay: Wild (and Wily) Thing

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I typically don’t delve much into politics on this blog for obvious reasons.

But when I heard Tom Delay was going to be joining the TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” (hereafter known in this post as DWTS), I had to check it out.

Delay’s Congressional district was centered in a town on the edge of suburban Houston called Sugarland, but Delay was anything but sweet in his approach to how he orchestrated the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives during his tenure as Speaker.

They didn’t give him the nickname “The Hammer” for nothing.

As to why he’s appearing on “Dancing with the Stars,” I suppose you could ask any variety of the celebrities that question who have appeared on the show.

Though certainly there seems to be a consistent theme of “has-beenness” to those who have appeared, I applaud their courage to throw it all out there, especially considering that most of them have never taken dance lessons in their life!

(Blogger’s Note: I have taken several dance courses in the course of my life, including jazz, modern, and tap…why I still can’t do a good two-step is beyond explanation).

I suspect Delay’s decision is partially due to wanting to go on a charm offensive, considering the PR hit he took when he was indicted right here in that bastion of left wing liberalism, Austin, Texas (to be completely fair and balanced, our governor is Republican, and he’s even talking about wanting to secede.  After the Tom Delay dancing with the stars affair, the great state of Texas may have no choice!).

From a pure marketing and PR perspective, I think Delay’s decision was a brilliant one.

The big mean Hammer is now doing the Cha Cha Cha with Cheryl Burke, the only dance pro to have made it to the DWTS finals three times (this according to the Web site) — how bad could he be?

You get my point.

And for the record, I’d never watched a single episode of DWTS before Monday night.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone, because the DWTS did just fine in the Nielsens Monday night when it was stacked up against some pretty hefty competition, including the 2-hour debut of this seasons’ “Heroes” and “House,” both heavy hitters in and of their own right.

DWTS beat them both, garnering 17.5M viewers to “House’s” 16.5M.

Among 18-49 year-old viewers, Dance outpaced CBS 8-10 P.M. comedy block by 5% (4.1/10 over CBS’ 3.9/10).  They beat “Heroes” by 52% (2.7/7).

(Thanks to TV By the Numbers for the ratings scoop.)

Those numbers were enough to generate ABC’s best numbers since May.  No wonder the ABC execs put DWTS on in prime time three times a week.

As for the Hammer’s Cha Cha Cha debut, Mr. Delay could probably stand to spend a little more time in the dance studio before he will completely realize the “Wild Thing” he aspires to…but I wouldn’t pull the gavel out to vote him off the dance island just yet: there’s too many ratings to be had!

Written by turbotodd

September 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm

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