ESPN's 'Get Up!' is a Colossal Disaster

Big LeadIt’s unclear what would have been the benchmark for success for Get Up from a first week ratings perspective, but the first three days of ratings for the new ESPN morning program with Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose cannot be construed as anything other than a supreme disappointment.

The opening day viewership of 283,000 was down 12% versus Monday morning SportsCenter in April last year, according to John Ourand. Tuesday’s 243,000 viewers was down 25% year over year (according to Bob Seidman, last year’s SportsCenter on the same Tuesday in April averaged 323,000 viewers). The overnights for Wednesday also do not look good:

Outkick the CoverageHow many viewers did WokeCenter AM have?

It had only 283k viewers, which, I believe, makes it the lowest debut for a new ESPN show in the 21st century. …

Nickelodeon happened to be airing Peppa the Pig head to head for a bit on cable in the nine AM hour. And Peppa the Pig just dunked on ESPN all balls to the face style, posting 753k total viewers. That’s triple what ESPN did in the same hour.

Let me make one correction before I begin, just to set the record straight. I’ve got enough friends with young kids to know it’s Peppa Pig, not Peppa the Pig. And Peppa is a fucking rock star with the preschool set. So there’s no shame in getting 1/3 of her juggernaut viewership numbers. However there is shame in Get Up! Massive, towering, snow capped, Himalayan mountain ranges of shame. Much it belonging to John Skipper.

The former ESPN boss who axed Barstool Van Talk after one episode is the one man White Star Line who built this particular Titanic. And this wasn’t something he cooked up during a fever dream while passed out on a coke mirror. This disaster has been in the planning stages for 18 months. The World Wide Leader spent millions building a waterfront studio on some of the most expensive prime real estate in the world. They’re paying the hosts $15 million a year. All this while laying off workers by the hundreds.

To make matters even worse, this Ratings Hindenburg’s arrival coincides with what to me is the two best weeks of the sports calendar. MLB’s opening day. The Final Four. The Masters. The NHL and NBA are into their playoff stretches. The NFL is transitioning from free agency to the draft. As much is going on right now as they could possibly ask for across as many sports as they need for content, and still they can’t crack the top 100 of all shows on television. And this is after they have basically carpet bombed all their programming with ads for this shitshow.

Although to be fair, some shows that don’t draw a ton of viewers are nevertheless respected and acclaimed, right? I mean, Mad Men was never a ratings bonanza, but it was adored by critics and cleaned up at the Emmys. Maybe the select few that prefer the witty banter of Mike Greenberg, Jalen Rose and Michelle Beadle to the adventures of a badly drawn porcine British cartoon love what they’ve seen so far? That would be a no …

Get Up 2

Of course it would be unfair to kick John Skipper when he’s down and Barstool continues to take over the galazy. On the other hand, the perfect time to kick someone is when they’re down. You don’t have to lift your leg as much so it’s a lot less effort. As the the audio/visual Katrina that is Get Up! continues to flood ESPN with its awfulness, never forget that the genius behind this had a clever, unique show with a talented crew and a built-in audience that cost almost nothing, and Skipper spiked it for no reason. This couldn’t happen to a nicer network.

P.S. The only person who could be loving this more than Stoolies has to be Mike Golic.