TLC announced Wednesday it had picked up 13 episodes of a new reality series about the Dallas-based company.
If you are flying Southwest out of, or into, Baltimore and/or Denver this weekend, you have our sympathy, because that’s when and where shooting will start.
This time, the network in bed with Southwest promises the show will look at “behind the scenes of the modern air travel experience, sharing the large-scale operations and personal customer stories at Southwest Airlines.”
Added TLC general manager Amy Winter: “Southwest is a beloved brand, and their customers and employees will reveal the passion, commitment, and fantastic payoff of ‘getting there’ that helps keep us all flying.”
And, by “beloved brand” we assume Winter means, “seemingly constantly in the news for its unerring knack of kicking celebs off flights for various reasons.”
Just this past September, Southwest kicked not one but two celebs off flights, which has to be some kind of record.
It booted “The L Word” star Leisha Hailey. She said it was because she kissed her girlfriend on the plane, but Southwest said it was because of “loud profanity” used by Hailey and companion in conversation over “what Customers characterize as an excessive display of affection,” adding “ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft.”
That same month, the airline yanked Green Day lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong from a flight because of his excessively sagging pants.
Last year, Southwest made headlines when it tossed director Kevin Smith — he says it was because they declared him too fat for the seat.
It appears that at some point, Southwest realized there was no percentage in tossing nobodies — like the guy it ejected for “public display of sexual affection” toward his girlfriend, and the chick it forced to change out of a “sexually suggestive T-shirt” or leave the plane — and started “Tossing With the Stars.”
Southwest Airlines hopes this reality series will do better than its first. In 2004 and ’05, basic cable network A&E ran three cycles of “Airline” about Southwest. The first cycle averaged nearly 1 million viewers. The second cycle exceeded 1 million, but the third cycle clocked only 861,000 and it was canceled.