News Briefs: Animal Planet Reached a Ratings High and Personal Low With a Fake Show About Mermaids

...This weekend while watching television, I stumbled upon Sunday's 10pm broadcast of Animal Planet's Mermaids: The New Evidence, a pseudo-documentary about the mythical, flippered sea swimmers. I watched about two minutes of it before I almost passed out from the brain-cell massacre that was occurring in my head, a direct result of glancing at what has to have been the stupidest thing I've ever seen. In short, it was a sequel to another mermaid special that aired on Animal Planet previously, and featured "scientists" talking about "evidence" proving that mermaids are real. Part of that evidence included showing tweets from Kim Kardashian about mermaids. Seriously. It was entirely silly. Anyway, it's now the network's most-watched show ever with 3.6 million viewers. Congratulations, but shouldn't Animal Planet have some moral obligation to air programs about real animals? Don't they know kids watch this channel for educational purposes? Guys, this really upsets me. Animal Planet, go jump off a cliff with your lame fake shows. You are now part of the problem. [Animal Planet via press release]


MORE RATINGS NEWS

... Meanwhile, 2.36 million viewers watched the series finale of Smash. See, if Katharine McPhee had been a mermaid, the show would have been amazing! Also, NBC spelled Anjelica Huston's name wrong in the credits. [TV By the Numbers]

... Did you watch HBO's fantastic original film Behind the Candelabra? Well 2.4 million viewers did, making it HBO's most-watched original film since 2004's Something the Lord Made. Anyway, go check it out if you haven't. It's a hoot. [THR]

... More bad news for reality television: The Season 9 premiere of The Bachelorette, in addition to featuring some of the creepiest suitors ever to set foot on the show, was down 27 percent from last season's premiere. Only 5.88 million people watched, translating to a 1.9 rating in the adult demo. Are you people actively trying to sabotage true love? [TV By the Numbers]


BUSINESS TIME

... Comedy Central has ordered a second season of Inside Amy Schumer, asking for 10 more episodes of the sketch show starring, you guessed it, Amy Schumer. I watched this fully expecting to enjoy it, but didn't find it as good as the rest of the network's early 2013 releases. [Comedy Central via press release]

... CBS has rescheduled Mike & Molly's Season 3 finale after pulling the episode and its tornado-centric storyline because of the twisters that ravaged Oklahoma. The episode will now air this Thursday at 8:30pm. And hey, it features a cool Justified reunion with special guest-stars Gerald McRaney and Jim Beaver! [TV Line]


CASTING NEWS

... Rob Lowe, fresh off an amazing and nightmarish turn as Liberace's plastic surgeon in Behind the Candelabra (pictured), will play former president John F. Kennedy in National Geographic's movie Killing Kennedy. Once Upon a Time's Ginnifer Goodwin will play Jacqueline Kennedy, and Michelle Trachtenberg will play Marina Oswald. Don't tell me any spoilers, please! [THR]

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We all know how Animal Planet would end up... remember there once a fairly good channel called History Channel...
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They'll have to come out with a Animal Planet 2 channel so they can air Ancient Aliens... I mean, Ancient Mermaids
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Behind the candleabra was a brilliant 2 hour tv movie.
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-sigh- Seems pulling episodes has become a thing this year. I know that comes across as insensitive, but the networks are being overly sensitive regarding all the recent tragedies. That phrase should say something about how the media are hypersensitizing us - "ALL the tragedies." Unintentional hyperbole there. Thing is, watching something on TV is a choice. If a show has trigger content, it should be on the viewer to change the channel or turn off their TV set. Pulling episodes only reinforces the odd belief that TV is real life when it is not.
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I'm guessing Giorgio Tsoukalos is appalled that such a farce is being aired on a channel that is supposed to be educational.
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And the closest thing to history on the History Channel is Vikings.
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"pseudo-documentary". Well, my cheeks are red. I watched a tiny piece while I was flipping through the channels too and I'm embarrassed to say I was confused and freaked out so I couldn't continue. SMH animal planet, your better than this.
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The mistake you made was thinking cable channels had any integrity whatsoever. Have you seen the drivel they air on "Discovery" and "The Learning Channel"? It's brain-numbing mush, and Animal Planet is the same family of mush-dealers.

Oh, gee, sad to hear The Bachelorette had bad ratings... a sentiment nobody who doesn't work on ABC ever will have. Fuck these shows. And why are 2% of Americans still watching this drivel?

I agree on Inside Amy Schumer, the kernels of funny things are buried in that show but the format is a mess, turns it into weak stuff. Not surprised it got a pickup though, CC seems to be out of ideas and money.
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Oh for God's sake if parents are using tv channels as educational tools then they're lazy idiots! As for the show, I didn't watch this one, but I did watch the original one and thought it was entertaining. Because, let's face it people, TV is - shock, horror - ENTERTAINMENT. It's not a supplementary teacher, babysitter or child minder. Take control of your own families and STOP blaming television for all your problems.

TV is an inanimate box in the corner; tv channels are COMPANIES that are PROFIT MAKING; they are NOT places where fairies with lollipops and rainbows make wonderful educational programmes for families that act as educational tool, babysitter and child minder - allowing parents to go in another room and drink beer whilst watching the game, go upstairs for some 'alone time' or even go sit in the garden and just escape the little anklebiters for a while.

The channels don't care if you let your kids stay up until after 9pm watching shows that are inappropriate. It's NOT their fault that you don't bother monitoring what they watch. It's NOT their fault if parents suddenly realise they don't know how to turn the tv off, or even how to change channel. I'm a parent, but I monitored what my daughter watches and always have; if I think a show is inappropriate it's banned and I tell her shows like this one are made up and are only saying this *MIGHT* be true *IF* mermaids were real, but they're not.
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Yup, just like those that were ranting about the show.
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I watched the Animal Planet special "Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real" when I was 10. Maybe I was just a particularly gullible 10-year-old, but at first I thought it was real and was very confused. I think I had to Google it to find out that they were lying to me :( It was very disappointing. Thanks for lying to kids, Animal Planet! I hope you feel good about yourselves!
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Shows about fictional characters can be interesting if well done. It's those that are badly done that are hard to watch. But do they have to pick a character that nobody believes is real?
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This is a surprise? Animal planet left the realm of journalistic integrity years ago. People at my work are always putting it on, and half the time it's about ghosts or Bigfoot. The actual animal shows are few and far between.
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I want to know more about those scientists who are mermaid experts. Which schools did they attend do?
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Tuna. Schools of tuna. Hiyo!
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It's like the History Channel making specials about aliens, or The Learning Channel being the network of Honey Boo Boo, etc...
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...or The HISTORY channel doing a movie about the Bible!

That's what utterly irks me about the TV landscape. Can there be no safe haven for intelligence? SciFi, History, AMC, Bravo, Food Network, Learning Channel...it seems every network is racing to appease the lowest common denominator. I don't see myself as elitist, but I also feel screw those cavemen if they don't understand your programming. ESPN is about the only channel that doesn't get toyed with, which is hilarious considering the audience it does plays to. Even The Weather Channel has movies! Stupid American cable programming directors. Pretty soon the Japanese will be laughing at us for our stupid TV shows.
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I'm thinking Twister and Singing in the Rain on heavy rotation?...
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Bad news for reality shows are good news for everyone else :)
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That ratings high for Mermaids isn't really a surprise, considering that The History Channel scored a ratings high with The Bible. Throw facts out of the window, people want fairy tales.
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Sorry atheists don't get to control ALL the programming. Some people believe in religion, or wish to watch programmes about someone's interpretation of various religious holy books, regardless of a faith or not. Therefore shows like the bible get made.
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I don't see how The History Channel's 'The Bible' show can be compared to Animal Planet having a show on mermaids. Whether or not you believe in a certain religion, you can't deny the impact, positive or negative, that it has had on history. Lest we forget that not that long ago politics were very heavily placed on, and dictated by religious beliefs. America itself was founded by people escaping religious persecution. And how about the huge impact that radical Islam has had on our world today? Knowledge is always key. Like it or not, religion is a very important part of our history as human beings. I think The History Channel should actually try to have more shows depicting other religions so that those who want to be can be informed, not for religious conversion, but for a better understanding of their world today.

No mean to get heavy, its just that I politely disagree.
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Christianity has been among the vastest killers in history.Let alone burning the Library of Alexandria which according to the late Carl Sagan destroyed eight centuries of human progress.
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I think you'll find Islam has done pretty well on the slaughter front over the centuries. I'm not absolutely certain, but I think the most peaceful religion has been Bhuddism; however, these days most religions are peaceful with just the religious extremists murdering people. However, I have a live and let live attitude to life and religion; sad that a lot of other people don't - from believers to atheists.
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Thank you for your kind words.I have a lot of Wicca friends and believers in the Goddess, Christians, Muslims and even a Buddhist among my FB friends who are very dear to me. Islam is a political religion, in the sense that Muhammad (Praise Allah for His Name) was trying to both found a religion and especially gather the surrounding tribes around his person. He had to make political "deals", famously relating to the right to have four wives ( which is bullshit) to appease certain pagan chieftains. Anyway, you are right Islam began as a military campaign and conquered a huge empire in less than two centuries.
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@ Kerkesh: I see your point; thank you for the clarification. Here in the UK we have a LOT of christian bashing, so if I was too sharp or rude then I do genuinely apologise.

I, personally, try to keep an open mind to other faiths and beliefs. I have a friend who's a Wicca, one who's a Pagan, and adopted Asian sister who is a Sikh and another friend who's a Buddhist - I think we could form some kind of united faith nations. lol! I have made these friends, with the exception of my sister obviously, because I was learning about their particular beliefs and we got chatting. i think we only become close minded when we stop questioning.

I don't go to the church though and I think that helps me stay....ummm...I suppose you could call it neutral. I think churches, etc tend to have religious leaders indoctrinating their attendees into their own deep rooted beliefs. Fine if the religious leader is even handed and openminded; but if they're extreme in any way, that when the trouble begins.

I find it sad that people use their religious books for hate; all are open to interpretation anyway. The bible for instance has had MANY 'books' kept out because the Catholic church at the time didn't like the messages they sent to the people; they wanted complete control and so structured the bible into their strict interpretation of it.

This is why I march to the beat of my own drum and use the more peaceful aspects of the bible to guide me. My daughter is a case in point - I taught her about my faith,her father's views (something, but not God) all the others that were around, the myriad of non traditional beliefs such as Wicca; also atheism and then left it up to her which way she went.

She chose my faith, Christianity; but I wouldn't have minded if she'd chosen Paganism or atheism if it made her happy and at peace with herself. I'd like to think I'm not alone in that dearly held principle of free will, free mind and free thinking. But perhaps I am given the horrors currently occuring worldwide; one terrible incident happening here only a week ago......
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I just want to add that I mentioned Christianity only because we were refering to the Bible. All religions have had people acting upon their own hatred in the name of their faiths.It is just an easier target to use faith, which also includes more people than political or idealistic motives. Also, unfortunately, religions are often based on myths that are open to a very large variety of interpretations and you'll find something to ground your opposing arguments in such or such a text. Finally, the irony in christian fundamentalism is that they use the first testament often which is not the Christian bible, which is in fact the second testament and the scriptures.
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@ Vicky8675309: I think extremists in any walk of life are oxygen thieves and hold the rest of us back with the narrow minded hatred of anything outside of their opinion.
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so true and I think believers of any faith and nonbelievers would agree with your comment above. Extremist of any faith suck!
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aren't there religious channels for that? A show based on facts about various religions and their effect on History would get some serious hate mail....just saying
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@ Vicky8675309: In reply to your comment about the books of the bible. There was no 'committee' as such, just the catholic church of the time. The pope and those around him of a like mind, took the bible as it was then and structured it into it's own version and made sure it adhered strictly to *their* ideas of what it should say.

There were very many books omitted because the pope at that time felt it gave too much freedom to the populace, and also made too much of women. Very sad; most books are under strict lock and key in the Vatican library and I doubt they will *ever* see the light of day again. Sadly I think that will also include the book that Mary Magdelene was supposed to have written, showing she was a full and equal member of the apostles; however, this is only conjecture, but I could believe it to be true.

I must admit I would've dearly loved to have seen the original version of the bible before the Catholic church and the Pope hacked it about to reflect their own 'image' of the Christian faith. I'm fairly sure it would've made interesting reading.......
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No, religious channels talk about religion from the viewpoint of the believer. Also most of the religious channels are christian, so I can't see them discussing Judaism, Islam or even Bhuddism. Additionally they do not look at religions from the viewpoint of those that are interested in how that particular religion began and the breakdown of that particular faith's religious book, but who do not believe.

I'm afraid atheists need to realise that some people, even if they don't have a faith, do find the mechanics of religion interesting - from the faith point and also the religious book point. They *want* to see programmes that show this. Atheistic extremists might feel that any mention of religion in their hearing is somehow indoctrinating them, but of course that's not the case; and so the rest of us can still learn about different beliefs and/or views and opinions around us. Atheistic extremists dp not control television; free will actually exists for all of us.
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Oh and I ought to add I'm a christian, though I do like to learn about and investigate other faiths as well as look into the dynamics of their holy books. As well as learn about my own faith from an non-believers point of view.
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hmm true. Well I'm not sure what kind of channel would be able to do that kind of programming then. Religious channels may only focus on more faith-based information than factual based information. Which isn’t going to do much for people looking for a historical view on religions, not a spiritual view. I haven’t seen The History Channel’s ‘The Bible’, but maybe that was the wrong channel for it then if it was based more on faith storytelling and not facts present in parts of the Bible that have been verified by historians. I understand others’ view now.
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I keep hearing Mel Brooks singing "The Inquisition"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbcyiFt5VEs
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more interesting would be a show about the committee that decided which books to include in the bible...I bet there were some heated debates on what books to include in the bible and what books to leave out of the bible. Imaging serving on the Bible committee! oooh, the agendas each committee person had....the quid pro quo (sp?)...lol (imagine the amount of hate mail)...
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+infinity
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it cannot be explained better than this:)
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Ironically, I'm sure the Animal Planet Merfolk airing would've received far greater numbers had it not been on so late and for all the DoG, Magic and Virgin Con's on atm.
C'mon though, nobody balks at the reality based dinosaur family dramas on AP - excepting the sane religious groups - with their touching and perilous tales of what it meant then, and by degree now, to visit your local Market Garden.
I must give Elizabeth Berkley a call to find out for sure if Versacé and Liberace are pronounced similarly.
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*SPOILER* *SPOILER* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER*

JFK dies in the end.
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Nu uh!!! The end is where his son dies tragically too, and his widow dies too soon, and his brother dies, and his other brother Darryl dies.
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Nah, that'll be in the sequel, "Killing Kennedy 2: The Killer Curse".

I'm copyrighting that, obviously. NatGeo, consider yourself on notice.
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I was watching Friends on DVD on Sunday night and my cousin who is around 10 comes into the living room from his dad's room where he was watching TV and was telling me about how they discovered that mermaids are real and then the next night he asked his dad if he could watch "that mermaid show" again. Lol.
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you're joking right? "featured "scientists" talking about "evidence" proving that mermaids are real" That is BS (I mean there is no evidence proving mermaids are real)
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Maybe they're just scientists in an unrelated field. "Theoretical Physicist James 'JJ' Johnson recounts the plausibility of mermaids: 'uh, anything's technically possible, and they have boobs!'"
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"Part of that evidence included showing tweets from Kim Kardashian about mermaids." If somebody takes Kim Kardashian serious, they deserve to believe
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Did Gerald McRaney and Jim Beaver even interact on Justified? Now Deadwood, the 2 had an awesome conflict.
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trying to score true love, yeah right! True money and 15min of fame stretched out as far as they can. Such a joke that show never watched it or the bachelor.
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Merman. *cough cough* Merman!!!
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Mermaids not real? IMOSSIBRU!? Next you'll be telling me that the stories from history channel's the BIBLE arent real either ? o wait
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PROVE IT!
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disprove it
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I didnt watch it so I have no idea how crazy some of the information was....but I think its healthy for kids to believe in stories of wonder that adults believe is 100% impossible (lochness monster, bigfoot, mermaids, aliens, giants, dragons etc etc) I'd rather my kid believe in his imagination (and learn to use it) than be completely dull and boring and not have an ounce of wonder in his eyes...yes you'll deal with more nightmares this way since for every 1 good imaginary being.. theres 10 bad ones...but without wonder the kids world will be grey and dull.
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have them watch a show about the scary freaky fish at the very depths of the ocean---they are unbelievable but they are actually real. There is so much REAL mystery and fabulousness in reality so why fill there heads with lies...isn't the tooth fairy and other such fictions enough? There are some truly crazy animal/insect phenomena that are real that you don't need make believe.

Have you ever watched QI? It's for adults but I've learned so much bizarre animal and insect trivia that is true and even more bizarre then big foot.

Seriously, in real life there is so much strangeness in animals/insects that exist in real life that there is no need for fiction to bring thrill and excitement and wonder!!!

To each their own and I don't see harm in telling them about Nessie or bigfoot but there are much freakier and cooler thinks that are know to exist.

Any QI fans or zoologists out there with examples. I can just think of the angler fish (I think that is the name in the ocean depths) but there is SO much more.

I think a lot of it depends on the age of the child...just my opinion
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I don't think you need examples for QI. Every episode is full of wonders you didn't know about before. And it is brought to us in an envelope of English humor. Everybody: go watch it.
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I think there needs to be both in everyones life...without BS stories people made up in the old days about witches, werewolfs, vampires and dragons we wouldnt have amazing fictional characters like harry potter, Gandalf or dracula etc etc...without amazing wonders we can see literally with our actual eyes we wouldnt get inspiration to build the puzzle when describe the creatures in these BS stories to other people...and believing in the unbelievable isnt a bad thing when kept in check (eg/ dedicating your life to finding big foot) but believing theres a .00001% chance he might exist leads you to have an open mind in life...hell I'm an adult and I like believing maybe aliens are out there maybe nessy is swimmy around in scottland... maybe vampires and werewolfs do exist or existed in the past....do I ever expect a discovery of any of these things... a .00001% part of me does...but I'd never go looking for proof of these things...its just fun to believe in
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describing*
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I feel like this mermaid thing is morally similar to how the history channel is now just trashy reality shows. It's a damn shame and a waste of resources, sometimes I'm actually in a scholarly mood and want to learn something, so why not turn on one of the many history channel tv series/specials that are always on History? Or I should say WERE always on History, just a couple years ago you could flip to History at any time and find something interesting and educational about someone, something or some time that was important, now, you'll get a day in the life of a red-neck. It's just sad really.
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Inside Amy Schumer could be funnier, the sketches for the most part fall flat for me but the stand up, street interviews, and Going Deep (which is a blatant rip off of youtuber Kassem G's video series of the same name) are all pretty funny. I wish the show was all just stand up and her talking to random people, it would be much funnier. That being said I'm still watching it, it's not award winning but it's a way to waste time.
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of course it couldn't be prevented because it was taking place simultaneously or the like, family guy had a tornado joke during the opening of the opening episode that aired that sunday. probably because it was becoming tornado season or something. that's a thing isn't it? and all it took was a bit of research for the two to coincide?
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I feel stupid. I know it was fake, but I watched the first mermaid thing and actually enjoyed it. I didn't watch the second one though.
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As long as you know it's all bullshit it's okay to enjoy it on a shallow level I think.
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The discovery channel, history channel and animal planet really should have entertaining but factual shows (just my opinion). I can't believe they had a show indicating that mermaids were real or could be real. I can see the history channel having fiction shows but it should be made clear that it is fiction. This is just my opinion but some kids (and adults) may watch it and think it is true since it is on animal planet or the discovery channel especially if filmed like a non-fiction piece. Yes, they may be stupid people but there are so many out there and if everyone can try to help them then society may improve...I just worry that Idiocracy is coming true!

I may be totally wrong but I was under the impression that the Animal Planet network was supposed to be educational but fun. If not then they can show whatever the f*ck they want...but seriously, Mermaids???

More people die in car accidents or from falls in the bathtub/shower then by tornados. Should we no longer show cars on tv or any shower or tub scene (at least no more commercials about tub cleaners). What about all the heart attacks related to obesity? Who the *$&# gives someone the right to tell me what I can or can't watch...well I guess the networks trying to make "everyone" happy.

well said: "While its nice to know that people are still idiots and watching stuff like Mermaids or The Bible..."

well said: "Clearly, if we want TV to improve, we need to find a way for a tragic disaster to happen to a mermaid."
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TAKE ALL THAT BACK!
MERMAIDS RULE!
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you and your Ariel crush...get over her already;-)
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You ever been on the new The Little Mermaid ride at Disney California Adventure? Not sexy at all, and her hair is rubbery and moves bizarrely, very freaky.
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oooh, the ginger mermaid - the universes most precious being
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I thought you were crushing on Rainbow Bright?
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I shamefully saw some merit in the secondary evolution discussion because well why not..even though the "interviewer" was sneering the whole time...then the cell phone footage. At least I can say I watched Behind the Candleabra then Smash and then wasn't tired and watched the last hour of the mermaid thing. So half asleep it seemed to make sense and then I was gojng to sleep even annoyed at the cell phone and was like well clearly the evolution thing didn't happen because they would have drowned. But there are those wild dolphins I actually think that is a real thing..
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I saw the Liberace movie and it's worth it for the portrayals. The actual Liberace had this naturally puffier face which Douglas doesn't have but the mannerisms seem pretty on.
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Thank god for the bachelorette. I hope they kill off this show.
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Anyone who watches TV for actual learning deserves to think mermaid are real.
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small boobs, big boobs, topless or covered...doesn't matter to me! All mermaids can be topless just to make you guys happy;-)
Duh, it's the seashell...how could I of missed it! Thank you!
lol
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mermaids fake but what about mermen? lol
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Mermen are twice as boring as mermaids. Mermaids have lower fish bodies, but at least they have boobs. Mermen have no boobs and no humanoid genitalia, that's why they're angry all the time, they just get to milt once in a while on a pile of eggs, very frustrating, not sexy at all.
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sexist
its all about meeting mermen as far as you are concerned
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couldn't respond below:
regarding: " (police academy joke)"...got it...it goes on my list but under monty python movies, Airplane, History of the World part I and Blazing Saddles....Police Academy was pretty funny.
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couldn't reply to you below but what if they are man-boobs and the merman has long hair? Sorry to bring up bad club memories for you;-)
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i said boobs, not moobs
i was in that club by accident, i believe it was called the blue oyster (police academy joke)
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didn't you see cabin in the wood? SEXY (lol)

how can you tell a mermaid from a merman? don't they have tails from the waist down? What if it is a flat chested mermaid with short hair?
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Vicky its obvious that its the sheshells, but maybe I'm missing the joke that you are advocating for women with small boobs to go around topless. I do hope its the 2nd. :)
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mermaids have boobs, DUH
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Hustin wanted it wrong - she didn't want to be credited properly for that show!
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I find it incredibly stupid that channels reschedule episodes after tragic events. As if somehow a tornado story a week after the deaths of dozens is somehow more sensitive than a day later. Just play the damn stuff when it was supposed to air and stop with this parental 'we can handle it' crap. Not that I care about whatever show was supposed to be airing a tornado episode (see Ive already forgotten its name) but missing out on Hannibal because of some jackasses in Boston pisses me off!

While its nice to know that people are still idiots and watching stuff like Mermaids or The Bible, are there any numbers for The Glades and Longmires return episodes?
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Longmire was the only one I watched of these.......
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Big brother (not the tv show but from the book)....crap, literature was so long about....
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Clearly, if we want TV to improve, we need to find a way for a tragic disaster to happen to a mermaid.
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"Clearly, if we want TV to improve, we need to find a way for a tragic disaster to happen to a mermaid." - and a cross over episode with duck dynasty would be ratings gold
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don't give them ideas---they would really do that...I'm not for hunting but that would be fishing (wouldn't it?) so that's cool. Is the show only about mermaids, what about mermen? What a sexist channel! LOL
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Or sexy channel?
(cue 70's porn music) bow chica bow wow
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