Despite his beauty, his 11 Olympic medals, his dumb-as-hair-edness, his impressive abs, Ryan Lochte seems not destined to become The Next Big Thing in reality TV.
A mere 807,000 viewers tuned in at 10 p.m. Sunday to enjoy the debut of his highly hyped E! reality series, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” — a satisfyingly shirtless look at the swimmer who made headlines at last summer’s London Olympics for his competition victories and unintentionally funny interviews: Jeah!
“Being Ryan Lochte is . . . fun,” Lochte revealed in the first episode, disclosing that he came up with his trademark shout-out, “Jeah!” by combining “Yeah!” only with a “J.”
How could this show not be a hit?
And yet, as E! was unveiling its reality star Lochte, about twice as many people were instead watching a rerun — a rerun! — of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
E! had done its darndest to launch Lochte’s TV career. The network gave him the best of all possible lead-ins:
Not just Ryan Seacrest. Ryan Seacrest interviewing . . .
Seacrest and the K’s scored an impressive 1.5 million viewers.