Last year, in a departure, Discovery Channel named its first non-Discovery-star Shark Week host -- CBS late night host Craig Ferguson. Last year, Shark Week was sampled by the largest audience ever – nearly 31 million people checked it out for at least six minutes and some, of course, watched much longer.
Coincidence? I think not.
Neither does Discovery, which on Wednesday named another broadcast TV late-night comic to host this year’s Shark Week. That someone is NBC’s “SNL” cast member Andy Samberg.
Samberg has a better agent than Ferguson; we know this because he’s gotten a better title. He will be Shark Week’s CSO – Chief Shark Officer.
“Shark Week…[is] about being scared out of your swim trunks but it’s also about being entertained and learning something new,” Discovery Channel President Clark Bunting said in Wednesday’s announcement, wisely leaving the funny business to Samberg.
Discovery claims Shark Week is the longest running programming event in cable history.
“Everyone loves Shark Week. It’s the Bill Cosby of week-long television blocks dedicated to sea animals,” Samberg said in his canned quote.
Raise your right hand if you think he just made Bill Cosby the butt of a gag. Raise your left if you think Shark Week was on the receiving end. Raise both hands if you think Samberg should have put more thought into his canned quote.
Discovery thinks the week has become a “pop culture phenomenon” because “30 Rock’s” Tracy Morgan once told NBC page Kenneth: “Live every week like it’s Shark Week.”
Oh, and in case that 6 minute sampling thing has you scratching your head: The 6-minute sampling stat is one Nielsen generates for advertisers’ sake because it’s assumed anyone who watches six minutes was subjected to an ad break.