Fox's dull 'Celebrity Boxing' far from being a knockout
Posted: May 23, 2002
Fox waited until the last night of the May ratings sweeps to offer us a collection of motley has-beens who ate up 90 minutes of prime time in the boxing ring.
Don't be surprised if the network's plan lured in millions and millions of viewers.
Fox's second edition of "Celebrity Boxing" opened with the most pathetic of TV figures, Darva Conger, the self-proclaimed "good Christian woman" who married a complete stranger on a previous special, then took off her clothes for Playboy, all the while complaining about being a victim of the evil news media.
Her opponent: nearly forgotten Olympic gymnast Olga Korbut.
Darva went on the offensive early. (You don't have to read this if you don't want to, you know). Boom, boom, boom and 47-year-old Olga was doomed.
"I feel really good," said Darva after winning.
"I did a very good job, but I need to work harder," said Olga after losing.
Bout two featured nerdy Screech from NBC's old "Saved By the Bell," acting tougher than his lame-brained character facing aged Arnold Horshack from the ancient "Welcome Back Kotter." Their real names would be meaningless to you.
"I'm gonna take him out," growled Screech, who was in Greenfield Wednesday to watch the match. "I'm a bad man."
Horshack never had a chance.
Then came Manute Bol, as tall as opponent William "the incredibly immense" Perry is wide.
The most dramatic bit of that boring match was Perry's attempts to get into the ring. For the record, Bol won.
The show closed with the inter-gender brawl between the artist formerly known as Chyna vs. sleazy Joey Buttafuoco, who's famous because of his affair with a teenager who later shot his wife.
The thuggish Buttafuoco whaled away on the former professional wrestler at the low point of the 90 minutes. He won the match, and was greeted with boos from the crowd.
The best news of the night is that we have five long months until the next ratings sweeps.
That means five months until the return of "Celebrity Boxing."
SPINNING THE DIAL
Dave Pugh is moving up from his duties as general manager of Clear Channel's six Milwaukee radio stations to regional vice president and market manager for Clear Channel's Detroit stations. . . . Greg Tanner is out as afternoon drive deejay at WXSS-FM (103.7). Wes McCain comes from nights to replace Tanner. He'll take on additional duties as Kiss FM's assistant music director and will do some production work. "We were not unhappy with Greg in any way, but it was one of those business decisions we have to make," says general manager Craig Hodgson. "We restructured a bit." . . . Barbara Becker pops up on Bob Reitman and Gene Mueller's WKTI-FM (94.5) show after 6:30 Friday morning to talk about her days on Channel 6's "Cartoon Alley," where she was second banana to Albert the Alleycat.
With only Wednesday night's ratings left to tally, NBC has captured first place in the four-week May sweeps in both total viewers and the more important 18-49 age group.
In that second category, which is crucial to advertisers, NBC won easily over Fox.
Call Tim Cuprisin at (414) 224-2397, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the May 23, 2002 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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