I’ll be damned if I know.
So just in case you haven’t heard, a few days ago, it was announced that OWN had made a deal with sometime-actress, Lindsay Lohan, for an 8-part realty show for the network, that will “chronicle her journey to rebuild her career and stay sober."
The series will be preceded by a taped interview with Lindsey and Oprah that will air in August after she’s released from her court-ordered 90-day rehab stay, which ends on July 31.
O.K., you say, not really that big a surprise. OWN was already headed in that direction anyway. So much for the more elevated, spiritual programming Oprah claimed she wanted to do when she started up OWN. That idea ended eons ago.
All right, I understand. It’s all about drawing an audience, and if something doesn’t work, you have to change tactics. That’s the name of the game.
But what really surprised me is that OWN will be paying Lohan $2 million for the interview and reality series, as well as paying for two full time assistants and a stylist.
Seriously? That’s the highest amount of money ever for anyone on a cable reality TV series, beating even NeNe Leakes, who reportedly gets $1 million for Real Housewives, including certain bonuses.
Now, of course, OWN is probably thinking that a Lohan reality show is going to pull in some Walking Dead- like audience numbers. Not very likely. I don’t see people tuning in the see Lohan in anything. Audiences are more turned off by her, than turned on. That is, of course, unless she happens to have a relapse and gets involved in a 30-car pileup on the expressway, preferably at the same time. And even with that, it’s still very doubtful that they’re going to remotely attract the kind of audience numbers they’re probably expecting.
Maybe it would make sense if Lohan was an A-list movie star, but those days are long, long gone, and are never coming back.
And considering that Lohan’s latest film - Paul Schrader’s The Canyons, which opens next month - was made on a minuscule production budget of $250,000, one would think that if OWN really wanted to do a Lohan reality show, they could've gotten her for a lot less.
But the big question on my, and probably your minds too, I’m sure, is just how much the folks on any of OWN’s other (i.e. black) realty shows is getting paid? I don’t think Kym Whitley on Raising Whitley is getting anywhere near that, you think? And I’m beginning to suspect that money is the reason why Beverly Johnson recently publicly stated that she was taking her own realty show to another network.
But Oprah has no problem paying Lindsay $2 million?
Am I the only one who sees something wrong here?