Fish Food: Showtime To Air Preview Episode Of "The Franchise" Featuring Marlins
Showtime is "taking advantage of the recent controversy surrounding manager Ozzie Guillen by adding" a 30-minute preview episode of its upcoming series, "The Franchise: A Season With The Miami Marlins," according to Tom D'Angelo of the PALM BEACH POST. The preview episode will air Saturday at 9:00pm ET. The series is "still set to premier" with a one-hour episode July 11 at 10:00pm. Thirty-minute episodes "will follow each week" for seven weeks (PALM BEACH POST, 4/14). In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted with an "embarrassed and contrite Guillen in hot water, industry sources speculated MLB might pull the plug on the show, which is in its second season after featuring" the Giants last year. But even with Guillen "neck-deep in controversy, it’s full steam ahead." An MLB source said, "They’ve already got some good behind-the-scenes footage of the situation (Guillen reacting to the Castro controversy) and they expect that footage will make air." Raissman noted from an image standpoint, MLB "may be risking plenty by giving Showtime subscribers an all-access look at Guillen." Still, "that’s the essence of reality TV." Expectation of the "unexpected brings maximum eyeballs to these often bizarre shows." MLB/Showtime’s "initial move to cast Guillen and the Marlins was smart." Sticking with Guillen now, when he is "even more controversial, is as close to brilliant as it gets" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/15). MLB VP/Business PR Matt Bourne said yesterday that the league "never considered halting production on the show or switching teams" (USA TODAY, 4/16).