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Wrap Those Leech Sandwiches In Road Maps

Veteran reality contest, Fear Factor, once the darling of NBC reality shows, has lost its ratings punch.

It may be that it has just run its course, but it also could be that the public has lost its stomach for the leech-chugging elements of the show.

I was surfing the YouTube-like, which was touting its broadcast-yourself features with the broadcast trades in hopes of getting some attention, when I stumbled on a video of someone about to eat a praying mantis. I know what I would have been praying for if I were that mantis, but it didn't look good for that beautiful and delicate protected species.

I couldn't watch it, but it made me think instantly of some of the grosser moments in the occasionally engaging Fear Factor, which I couldn't watch either when it cut to those bowls of scorpions or centipedes that were about to be munched live, or to the Smoothies blended from I-don't-want-to-remember-what.

That led me to check out the Tuesday night ratings to find that Fear Factor couldn't muster anywhere near a 2 rating for an original episode, roundly defeated by a repeat of my favorite show, House.

Fear Factor is no longer on the schedule, but surfaces as a utility player. Still, when you can't beat a repeat, whose cost to air is negligible, get ready to find your sandwiches wrapped in roadmaps, which is what a former boss told me would be the signal that my services were no longer needed.

By John Eggerton