Not everyone relates to media

By Published on .

Halfway through last week's series premiere of "Dirt" on FX, Courteney Cox Arquette's character, a bitch-on-heels tabloid editor, refers to herself as a "journalist," much to the derision of her co-workers. Any media hound worth her weight in Us Weeklys would recognize this as a jab at Bonnie Fuller, but most of the premiere's 3.4 million viewers likely tuned in to see if the former "Friend" was going to act less like Monica and more like "Scream's" Gale Weathers again. But once they realize Cox is not running from a serial killer but instead running a magazine, will they stop watching? Watercooler thinks they will. And we were in the camp that really, really wanted to like it.

Cox isn't the only former "Friend" suffering this malady. Her former co-star Matthew Perry is learning just how much audience interest-or lack thereof-there is in inside-media shows with NBC's hanging-by-a-thread "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." "Studio 60" has struggled in the ratings department all season but continues to attract the network's coveted "upscale" viewership. It's likely that the majority, if not all, of the 4 million "upscale" viewers are media professionals or Hollywood types, seemingly the only demo that's tuning in to this kind of programming.

NBC's similarly themed "30 Rock" continues to pull in middling ratings despite a move to Thursdays, while HBO's choir-preaching "The Comeback" both had Tinseltown-heavy premises and one-season runs.

However, two shows have found success despite being set in the midst of media-ABC's "Ugly Betty" and HBO's "Entourage." They've thrived because they found a middle ground between relatable characters and behind-the-scenes minutiae.

For "Dirt" to overcome the Hollywood curse and survive for a second season, FX may be wise to tone down the raunch and portray Cox in a less harsh, more "Devil Wears Prada"-esque light. Monica Priestley, anyone?
Most Popular
In this article: