Saturday, June 26, 2010

More proof we are living in an Andy Warhol world

IPeople may not want to publicly admit it but instead of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, stars of the new action film Knight and Day, they secretly really want to know ALL about warring ex-fiances, The Bachelors’ Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi. The Bachelor Break-up actually trumps Tom’s blockbuster as the need-to-know EVENT of the week.

At the premiere of Grown Ups in New York City this week, who did the fans scream for most? No it wasn’t the A-List stars of the film, Adam Sandler and Salma Hayek. Instead, it was Jersey Shore’s infamous Snooki, Jwoww and Ronnie. I was there and nicely dressed young women nearly trampled me on the way out of the theatre, trying to get a snapshot of Snooki!

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s discuss TV shows with recent HUGE ratings. That would be American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, and So You Think You Can Dance. Then consider that The Bachelor, Real Housewives of New York, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kendra, The City, and The Celebrity Apprentice have all had their biggest ratings ever this year.

Then consider the state of traditional sitcoms and dramas. They’ve pretty much all seen better days.

There used to be a celebrity pecking order that magazine editors believed in when they determined who to feature on their covers. They were convinced that newsstand sales could be juiced-up first by first movie stars, then TV stars, then music stars. Of course, reality stars didn’t exist in those days. I can confidently tell you however , that the old sales rule has now been kicked into the trash can.

You only had to look at People magazine this week to see the new paradigm in action. On the cover is The Bachelor’s Jake Pavelka, telling HIS side of the breakup story. Shockingly way inside the mag you’ll find Tom Cruise in a “20 Questions”-style interview as part of the promotion for his film Knight and Day. Also deep inside– a feature on the former biggest box office star in the world, Harrison Ford, who finally married his longtime girlfriend, TV star Calista Flockhart. Let me point out that it wouldn’t have been all that long ago that Tom or Harrison would only have “cooperated” with People, or any other magazine, if they were GUARANTEED the cover.

But you see, the Hollywood landscape has been transformed by the reality star tsunami.

Let me also remind you about other reality stars besides Jake, Vienna and the Jersey Shore crew that we’ve REALLY cared about in the past year.

We held our breaths while Celebrity Apprentice star Bret Michaels recovered from a brain hemorrhage. We followed the trials and tribulations of Kate Gosselin through her split from Jon, we followed every detail of Khloe Kardashian’s wedding to Lamar Odom, we were horrified/fascinated when both Kendra and Danielle Staub had sex tapes, and we couldn’t get enough of the Bethenny/Jill Zarin feud! Yes, some would say it’s sad…but it’s true, we have CARED about these people!

So how did reality stars WIN?! How did they kick the traditional A-Listers to the curb? For one thing, they are far more accessible than A-Listers. They happily talk to reporters on red carpets at events instead of walking right on by. They even return reporters phone calls and do easily set-up interviews. They are genuinely friendly to the press and their own fans. They LOVE their fame and don’t run away from it.

All of this accessibility is contradictory to what traditional celebrity publicists believe in and allow their A List clients to do. Part of the appeal of reality stars is that they seem “more like us” than traditional Hollywood stars. That’s partly because many of them really are more like us. They aren’t as wealthy as old Hollywood stars us. They still live and travel amongst us, without bodyguards. So we relate to them more easily.

Also, because they are accessible and talk to the press, they feed their fans very regularly with tv and internet sound bites and tidbits about their own lives… and their fans LIKE that. Fans aren’t turned off by seeing and reading about their favorite reality stars on a daily basis.

Traditional Hollywood publicists were adamant that “overexposure” would kill their star client’s careers. That’s why they limited their magazine covers, controlled what their stars said and certainly NEVER let them talk about their personal lives.

The result– they made their A-Listers BORING!

And VERY BORING compared with the new fan friendly, blabby reality stars, who are much more like us.

by Bonnie Fuller Hollywood Life

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