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APOCALYPSE WATCH: The Weather Channel’s New Reality Show Fat Guys in the Woods

UJA-Federation's 2014 Digital Media Award CelebrationPaging Jim Cantore and Sam Champion: Please pick up the white courtesy phone. America has a question for you, “Is this the end of the world as we know it?” 

Typically, one could go to The Weather Channel for local reports, airline backups, and the occasional meteorological quip from any generic host. Some joke about “it’s hail out there” or something that would cause one to groan — if they were paying attention.

Then, Jim Cantore (bald guy on the left) became a thing of legend. He wanted to be the guy in the eye of the storm. That followed Sam Champion (always pretty guy on the right) leaving his post at GMA and getting his own show at The Weather Channel.

Then, capitalism. And that’s when it got really good.

You may remember in January (something we covered in detail) that The Weather Channel got bumped from DirecTV causing the entire network to revolt against “the man.” The much-regaled imbroglio lasted until April. In short: The Weather Channel was brought back to DirecTV under one condition – focus more on the weather. 

The biggest change to its programming will affect all Weather Channel viewers, not just DirecTV subscribers. It said it will reduce its reality programming by half on weekdays. That means fewer airings of TV shows like “Coast Guard Alaska” and “Hurricane Hunters.”

fat guysHowever, some folk just can’t leave well enough alone. This week, the geniuses that brought you riveting television like “Lifeguard” and “Prospectors” are now going to feature “Fat Guys in the Woods.”

Yes. Way.

In every episode of “Fat Guys in the Woods,” survival expert Creek Stewart brings three average schmucks back to the woods to survive for a week with only one objective: teach them the skills that make a man, a man.

Set in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, said frumpy dudes will be given no camping tools and asked to look for water, build shelter, and catch dinner. Why they have to be “fat”? Because TV ratings, dummy.

Via press release, here’s the talking head describing why you should take this seriously:

“‘Fat Guys in the Woods’ is an adrenaline-filled – and often hilarious – look at the battle between man vs. nature as these typical guys bravely choose to eliminate modern luxuries and learn what their fathers and grandfathers knew – how to survive without access to the drive-thru,” said David Clark, president, The Weather Channel network.

“The series was filmed during one of the coldest winters in recent history, and viewers will see the central, and often critical, role that weather plays in people’s lives outdoors. These guys are pushed to the limit to go big or go home, and learn invaluable skills along the way that will stay with them the rest of their lives.”

Yeah. That sound you hear is DirecTV rummaging for the number to Weather Nation in hopes they want their gig back. Fat Guys in the Woods premieres Aug. 10 at 10 p.m. ET. That’s a Saturday night for you lovers out there.

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