Friday, January 05, 2007
SHANA HIATT IS BACK
Don't you think there's way too much poker on TV?
You know, everyone has been waiting for this silly "poker craze" to die out. They've been waiting and waiting and waiting, and it hasn't happened yet. Now I'm convinced it won't happen. Too many people are too interested in Las Vegas, gambling, and poker. This is gonna be on TV for the next 40 years, this stuff. And for good reason: it's fun to watch!
In fact there's more of it than ever. You now have "celebrity poker", and even televised blackjack! Tune in to TSN, Sportsnet and even Star!TV on the weekends and you'll see what I mean, it's all poker all the time. That's what they serve up against Hockey Night in Canada these days, poker matches. There's the World Poker Tour, and the World Series of Poker, and Celebrity Poker and the rest of it.
This sport (!) (?) has been blamed for getting the NHL kicked off ESPN in the USA, its ratings were higher. Now the networks have noticed and they are getting into the act in a big way.
NBC is now showing Poker After Dark every night, right after Last Call with Carson Daly is over. The star host is popular "poker babe" Shana Hiatt. Of course, Shana is the ex-Hawaiian Tropic model who shot to popularity when she was the hostess of the World Poker Tour broadcasts. The WPT tour was the first one to become really popular and that is what started this poker craze on TV to begin with.
NBC has been showing poker already, but this is every single night that they are doing this, now, late at night. They figure to clean up from all these online poker companies that want to pay for time late at night and get people hooked on poker. Beats infomercials, anyway.
I dunno why Shana of all people has become most associated with poker, because there are lots of "poker babes" on TV doing host duties and none of them are as popular as her. Most people don't know any of these women ( who's Courtney Friel?!), but Shana's been able to make the most of her 15 minutes of fame on the WPT. Everyone knows she is the "poker babe." In fact she got into a fight with the World Poker Tour over this new gig. The World Poker Tour tried to block her from hosting this rival show, and Shana had to go to court and got an injunction against the WPT in order to get on the air.
I know lots of people watch poker on TV because they can relate to this sport--- they can play online and also play along at home and see the strategies and all that. But I also think the other big reason poker is still popular on TV is because of the poker babes! In fact I notice these poker companies have been going nuts employing these cool "spokesmodels" to promote themselves. I know Cindy Margolis signed up with one company to do poker stuff, and Pam Anderson has been doing this, too. She was on the cover of one or two of these poker magazines.
I know, I know, this is lowbrow all the way, but still you get to see these folks compete in these tropical resorts and all that, and it's fun to see the spokesmodels there, throwing money on the table all the time and all that! Fun stuff.
The reason NBC's show is going to be a hit is because Shana Hiatt is the hostess. She is to poker what Maria Bartiromo is to financial TV. And for more information about poker on TV click here.
Posted by John Cairns at 2:40 PM