With both the media and TV audiences sceptical of yet another reality TV show loaded with celebrity contestants, the Seven Network's executives will be holding their breath that the US version of Celebrity Splash, which launches today, is a hit.
The US ratings for the show will be an important measuring tool in predicting whether the "Splash" format, as it is called, will be a hit here.
Brynne takes a dive.....
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Brynne takes a dive.....
Channel 7 has just announced the contestants slated to take part in the latest celebrity reality tv, Celebrity Splash, a dangerous high diving show.
Seven has re-titled the show Celebrity Splash - just in case the audience need reminding that the people in the show are actually famous. At first glance it's probably not a bad idea.
Seven has unveiled a cast which includes socialite Brynne Edelsten, surfer Koby Abberton, Gold Logie winner Denise Drysdale and television presenter Laura Csortan.
The group also includes several athletes, who would seem to have a natural advantage in a show which trains celebrities to become elite divers, including swimmer Leisel Jones, cricketer Andrew Symonds, athlete Tamsyn Lewis and AFL player Andrew Welsh.
Rounding out the group are comedian (and star of the ABC's Please Like Me) Josh Thomas, actress Demi Harman, Melbourne radio identity Adam Richards, Pizza and Housos creator/producer Paul Fenech and models Nick Bracks and Renae Ayris.
The format was launched last year at the MIPCOM television market in Cannes, France, and generated enormous buzz. It was billed at the time as "Diving with the Stars", a nod to Dancing with the Stars, which turns celebrities into competitive ballroom dancers.
The UK version was the first to launch, with the title Splash. Britain, it seems, is far more certain about who is a celebrity and who isn't.
It was a hit, albeit a modest one. It launched to more than five million viewers in a Saturday evening time slot, but Saturday is a highly competitive night in the UK and when it slipped below the five million viewer waterline, alarm bells were sounded.
The UK version was also slammed by TV critics who noted, amongst other things, that the celebrity line-up was weak. Four of the celebrities listed "television presenter" as their occupation and two were Olympians.
As you might expect, one of the Olympians eventually won. Given the nature of the format - training ordinary stars to become elite divers - athletes have a natural advantage.
The UK's Telegraph called it "utterly dreadful television", noting "mediocre dives and dreary, coddlingly positive comments from the judges."
The Guardian was kinder. "While Splash may be rubbish, it's good rubbish," it said.
But the UK broadcaster ITV can't have been all that unhappy: a second series of Splash was commissioned in February to be filmed later this year and aired in 2014.
The US version, which launches today, includes four elite athletes in its celebrity line-up, though the most famous in their group are former TV stars: Baywatch actress Nicole Eggert, reality TV personality Kendra Wilkinson and former Cosby Show child actress Keshia Knight Pulliam.
International versions of the format are also rolling out in Argentina, France, The Netherlands, China and Spain.
Australia's version, titled Celebrity Splash, launches later this year.