Terrell Owens, Will Smith Battle It Out In The Ratings

If anyone was designed for the ultra-visibility of the reality-television-age, it is probably Terrell Owens. The thankfully former Dallas Cowboy made his debut on reality television last year, on HBO’s Hard Knocks. This wasn’t that bad, only because Owens was still playing the role of football player, something he seems to have abandoned in his latest venture, the T.O. Show on VH1.

Ostensibly, the show follows Owens as he and his BFFs/publicists Mo and Kita attempt to make sense of his often-complicated personal life; a large part of this seems to be the increasingly pressing, ever-present question of what Owens will do after he’s played his last down in the NFL.

This last question hints at what the show is really about, which is, as Mike Florio over at PFT puts it, a “not-so-thinly-veiled effort at launching a career in Hollywood.”

The merits of the show are debatable enough, with episodes ranging from borderline interesting to downright worse-than-Shot-at-Love-with-Tila-Tequila. (Just kidding, nothing is worse than that televised cesspool.)

In any case, none of it may matter in a few weeks, with the show putting in ratings reminiscent of such failed attempts as That 80’s Show and Frank TV.

Per PFT, per John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, The T.O. Show wound up tied for the 798th-highest-rated cable show of the week with, among others, a 5 a.m. airing of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Nick at Nite.

Such staggeringly low numbers can’t last, and with Owens’ interest in football on the decline, it’s increasingly obvious that something must be done. But what?

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America loves nothing more than pretty girls, and the T.O. Show delivers those in droves. That, ahem, real estate agent in episode one was indeed a compelling character; an attractive woman, with measurements enough to land her in the background of a Paul Wall video, entering T.O.’s life so serendipitously it’s a wonder she wasn’t borne in a dank and shadowy writer's room.

And what of this ex-girlfriend we’ve heard so much about? Owens moves to Los Angeles, only to run into his ex, for whom he still holds a torch? That, my friends, is small screen gold.

And while I haven’t watched the show in a few weeks (I prefer Secret Life of the American Teenager), the previews indicate some intriguing plotlines and tense conflict.

All the dramatic elements are in place, plus beautiful women and “the nicest guy you’ve ever met;” so how does one approach the vexing question, how to make a great show better?

Well, there’s only one lifeboat big enough to save these characters, so obvious it’s a wonder no one has already thought of it: More gratuitous T.O. nudity.

If that’s possible, of course.

Terrell Owens
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