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Guess Which Brewer is Getting Their Own “Reality Show”?

Not long ago, Sam Calagione’s show Brew Masters was cancelled by the Discovery Channel (or as Sam says, it wasn’t renewed).  The plot soon thickened when iconoclastic chef Anthony Bourdain tweeted that Brew Masters was killed by “Big Beer” who threatened to pull their ads off of Discovery and its sister networks if the show didn’t get the ax.

Now there’s a new reality show from a brewer about to hit ABC, but chances are it won’t suffer the same fate.  Why?  Because it’s made by Budweiser. 

That’s right, starting January 21st, Bud United presents: The Big Time will start a seven episode run on Saturday afternoons.  Like Bud’s ads (and their beer), the show won’t have anything to do with actual beer, rather it will follow people competing in different events, from batting against a big league pitcher, to driving stock cars, to vying for a spot to perform alongside Sting and Lady Gaga.  Sounds fascinating.  😦

ABC limits the amount of drinking allowed on their network, so the program probably won’t show any consumption of Budweiser, just the winners using it to toast their success.  Kind of like at the end of the Super Bowl XXI when Phil Simms said, “I’m going to Disney World!” but they didn’t actually show him screaming like a girl on Space Mountain.

Bud execs have also stated that the use of logos and other branded elements will be low key, because, “We want this to be natural.”  Yes, there’s nothing more natural than a series of staged events paid for by an advertiser who can’t even show the use of its product during the program.

That sounds about as natural as brewing a lager with genetically-modified rice, so…uhh…I take that back. It’s perfectly natural for Budweiser.

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Categories: Beer, News

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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52 Comments on “Guess Which Brewer is Getting Their Own “Reality Show”?”

  1. Dave SDC
    December 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Absolutely Horrid….First 2 words that popped in my head…

    • December 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

      Yeah, but at least it’s not about their crappy beer…

    • December 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      Just realized that you might have been talking about my writing, not the show! 😉

      • Dave SDC
        December 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

        Haha, No way Jim! Love coming to the site. I was talking about the show, the beer and AB InBev as a whole.

        • December 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

          Well those are usually the first two words I think when I read one of Don’s posts…

          🙂

  2. Michael
    December 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Beechwood aged idiot tv. Boy, I can’t wait.

    • December 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

      Reeks of desperation, but it’s a popular trend in TV these days. My favorite is Nissan’s Speed Academy that aired on SPEED. It featured a bunch of video game driving nerds given the chance to become real-life professional drivers. Cool concept and a good show.

  3. December 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Definitely one to put on my “don’t bother” list.

    I wonder if the reason they’re not doing an actual brewing show might have anything to do with possible adverse viewer/customer reaction to their ingredients/process? Its a shame really. as it could have been called How Not to Brew Beer or Budweiser: the Unbeer!

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      Yes, kind of like “What Not to Wear” but with brewing!

      • December 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

        Turn in your man card. You referenced “What Not To Wear.”

        • December 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

          I never got a man card – I got an metro pass like all the other Metrosexuals!

  4. oliver klosoff
    December 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Yet another reason for me to sell every tv I own.

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

      …and then spend the proceeds on good beer and whiskey.

  5. Michael
    December 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    If this is a test to see if the show is worth a longer run, I’m not sure it can make it against college sports on Saturdays. I guess it depends on how much money they throw at the show.

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      I wish they’d do something like the old “Battle of the Network Stars” because I’d like to see John Stewart and Zooey Deschanel face off on the obstacle course!

  6. December 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    ABC is home to The Bachelor/The Bachelorette franchise. The bar is pretty low. This show will be on Saturday afternoons, after college football is over and there’s only 7 episodes to air. The odds that I catch it on are very low as long as there is a Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon while I do laundry.

    Sounds like ABC needed some filler and this hits the demographic married to the demographic addicted to Cupcake Wars.

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

      Yeah, stuff like this usually flops, and this show sounds especially generic. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but it’s hard to get cancelled when you’re buying the airtime!

      • December 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

        The airtime is paid for, and it will run 7 episodes. Stuff like this runs every year. WipeOut started in the summer to be filler show between all of the reruns and now it’s on multiple times a year. ABC probably put it out to their sponsors that they would look into a sponsor driven tv show and Bud stepped up to the plate. It takes you to spring training with baseball starting in April. Makes sense.

  7. Benj
    December 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    How about a reality show based around two brothers attempts to try all of the best beer and whiskey on the planet, and their attempts to blog the information for the educated (alcohol wise) minority?

    • Don
      December 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

      Naaa, we were already turned down for that show! 😦

      • December 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

        Sounds pretty good to me!

  8. BeerBanker
    December 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Would Don watch it if it was called Bud United presents: The Big Time with Bears ? Contestants have to choose between drinking a Bud or getting up close and uncomfortable with a hungry bear…

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      Give me the bear. I’m skin and bones already. If I played dead it wouldn’t want me for a toothpick.

    • Don
      December 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      Yes, I would. I would want to be their first contestant. But lets face it, I have an unfair advantage.

      • December 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

        You could be the contestant AND the bear!

  9. December 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Lets come up with alternative show titles. I’m in with “Amazing Waste”

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      It’s Battle of the Network Stars without the network’s stars.

    • December 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

      I’d suggest the Fleecing of America but that’s already been taken.

    • December 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      Ha ha – I love “Amazing Waste.”

      How about “Brewbastards”?

    • December 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      America’s Brewski Channel?

      • December 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

        More like America’s Bullsh~t Channel!

  10. December 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Have to admit brew masters was crap so not surprised it was canned. Buds show is not what I would call a beer show as much as a gimic show from the sounds of it. The best beer show/ doco was of those boys from NJ who took a road trip across the US drinking in brew pubs . That should be a series. cant remem the name though..

    • December 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      Anything but another long commercial for a brewery, whether it’s DFH or Bud.

  11. Greg H
    December 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    What an idiotic concept. Then again, much of TV is idiotic. I did enjoy this new show, Moonshiners. It was mildly entertaining, but I can’t believe the guys on there are admitting to breaking federal law.

    • December 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      That looked interesting and quite illegal. I guess I better catch it before it’s pulled and used as evidence…

  12. December 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    you very nearly got me excited about something on tv

    • December 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      Don’t tease me, bro!

  13. December 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Sounds like advertisers going back to their roots in the 40s and 50s when shows included the name of the sponsor in the title and were thinly veiled extended ads. What’s next, the Hungry Man Man vs Food hour? 😉

    • December 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      I think it’s ironic that this is starting just as the soap operas are failing.

  14. December 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    ugh! Bullshit! That’s what first popped in my head. Yet another great reason to not have TV. And I happened to like Brew Masters.

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:49 am #

      So did I maria, so did I.

    • December 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      I liked Brewmasters okay, but it became sort of a running infomercial for Dogfish Head. That could have worked, but Sam doesn’t appear to create the conflict and stress needed to fuel a show that focuses on a business. You need a tyrant to make a show like that go. I liked it best when he was thrown in with villagers and strangers and beer brought everyone together.

  15. December 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    I just hope this leads to another Jim vs. “Random_Corporate_Douche” event.
    I’m getting popcorn!

    • December 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

      I’m hoping so, too!

  16. December 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    I enjoyed Brew Masters, wondered why it vanished. I also enjoy Drinking Made Easy on HDNet. That’s seems to be going strong. As much as I agree it was like an infomercial, it was fun to watch.

    • December 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

      It was certainly better than the rebirth of Bud Bowl!

  17. brewchitect
    December 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I cant wait for the day DogFish Head threatens to pull their adds when Budweiser wants to do something.

    • December 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

      That would be pretty sweet!

  18. Geez
    December 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Frank Viola!? Geez. I actually agree Jim, this sounds like a Nattastrophe. However, with all the other crap on TV… it’ll fit right in. All reality shows are staged aren’t they? I’m not defending the content of the program, it sounds lame. But, younger demo they seek is into these shows.

    We’re gonna see a trend over the coming years, with brands creating content for TV, its already began. Entire stations will be branded…commercials are a TiVo click away. There’s some brands out there creating really compelling content these days…it could be interesting when done right.

    • December 15, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      I agree that integration and sponsorship isn’t just the future, it’s the “now.” The age of the 30 second spot is fading fast, so sponsors have to become part of the show if they don’t want to be Tivo’d past.

  19. December 16, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Is this the reality show where the losers are in the house together? oh that was another show.

    • December 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      Yes, Big Bother.

      Or something like that. 🙂

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