CBS has seen the future (or at least the ratings) and its name is Kimbo Slice. Or maybe it's Regis Philbin. Or conceivably both, after a look at the weekend ratings that established both EliteXC Saturday Night Fights and Million Dollar Password as the network's summer programming to be reckoned with — nauseously, perhaps, and only after sizable narcotic consumption, but no doubt inevitably. Philbin strung together an audience from the 60 Minutes window preceding him Sunday evening, winning the night with nearly 11 million viewers. But bare-knuckle Mixed Martial Arts superstar Slice fared surprisingly well in an even more sepulchral Saturday-night slot, pulling an average of 4.3 million viewers nationally between 9 and 11 p.m.
And it might have done even better if not for the affiliates who opted for a telethon or, in the case of uptight Greensboro, N.C., anything but a massive black ex-strip-club bouncer beating the holy fuck out of some anonymous, pasty chump:
WFMY gave rights to the event to a low-wattage network 25 miles away in Reidsville, according to program director David Briscoe. Instead, the CBS affiliate televised a 1992 made-for-TV movie called Getting Up and Going Home, which stars Tom Skerritt as a divorced attorney who copes with his mid-life crisis by having multiple affairs.
In an earlier statement sent to greensborosports.com, Briscoe wrote: "We have concern for the content in CBS' EliteXC."
The "experts" agree, recently telling Time Magazine, "Just wait for the first news report about two eight-year-olds that went after each other because of something they watched on CBS. It's going to happen." That's nothing — just wait until those kids start having Skerritt-esque affairs all over Greensboro. It's going to happen.