OK, we’re not a gossip sheet, nor do we care too much about reality television. That said, the specter of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fascinates us because we didn’t realise the fertile, but seemingly cranky, under-sexed (at least with each other and who could blame them after 8 kids) couple were big enough to carry the cover of Us Weekly for a whole month.
We see it as important for two reasons:
1. TLC, which airs this show, has been a big part of the success of Wall Street darling Discovery Communications. The company’s shares are up about 50% year-to-date. If TLC’s top-rated show runs off the rails so publicly because of an extra-marital affair, it’s not a killer blow but it puts a crimp in the feel-good reality formula and ability to leverage the show in reruns.
2. The covers of the big celebrity mags have moved from being the province of Britney, J-Lo, Brangelina and other big names to the turf of Jon & Kate, Dancing with the Stars and other D-List chattle. Has the recession made Americans identify more with unwashed celebrity and less concerned with the glitziest of the glitterati?
The Times’ Sunday Style section mentioned that at People magazine “the difference between the top-selling People cover of 2008 (Angelina, Brad and their twins) and a bottom seller of 2008 (Madonna divorcing another husband) was 1.5 million newsstand copies and $6 million in revenue.”
So, this is a big money issue for the magazine giants.
Here are the last four Us covers:
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