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Notes from Behind the Curve: Warren the Ape Coming to MTV

March 2, 2010

OK, so I was getting set to write a post about Kate Gosselin’s dance moves and/or the Bachelor’s bad taste in women and/or the latest Brady Bunch cat fight. Something in which I have a passing interest as an observer of our popular media culture, but no interest whatsoever as a consumer with my own tastes.

And then I stumbled on news that’s been out for months that I had missed until now. It totally made my day and distracted me from focusing on crafting still more expert analysis of Robert Pattinson’s vagina allergy:

The Greg the Bunny universe is alive and well, despite Fox’s efforts to kill it a few years back (as the Murdoch empire does with all good shows except those it keeps around for far too long). A new show, Warren the Ape, is coming to MTV this summer. My inner fan boy, who looks a lot like Clint Howard, is still doing freakin’ somersaults after reading that.

The move to basic cable is perfect for something like Greg the Bunny, whose sensibilities I presume will be carried forward in Warren the Ape. MTV is a somewhat unlikely home—I would have figured on more likely destinations such as the Cartoon Network (home of the popular Robot Chicken, which has many connections to the world of GtheB, including but not limited to Seth Green), or perhaps FX, where new show Archer is quickly becoming a hit among those who like their comedy quirky and animated.

But MTV should do nicely. There won’t be the expectation that Warren the Ape will need to bring in network-level ratings (even low-rated network shows outpace the viewership of most cable offerings, even “hits,” and so the stakes are higher). In 2010, the media landscape is more forgiving of slightly racy “NSFW” shows—such as Greg was and Warren surely will be—than what Greg faced nearly a decade ago on Fox. A show can now succeed based on viewership across multiple delivery platforms. All these factors point to a considerably longer life span for Warren than the meager 13-episode run that Fox allowed for Greg lo those many years ago. And that’s a nice, pleasant thing to think about.

All right, break’s over. Back to thinking about Jersey Shore and American Idol. Before I go, I’ll express the abiding hope that Warren the Ape and Snooki end up in a joint interview (or perhaps a drinking contest) in the MTV studios.

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