It says something about our society that TV gets ratings when it provides cliff-hangers replete with bombings and shootings. What began with "Who Shot J.R.?" continues today. Who among us didn’t watch the final season of The Sopranos thirsting for theatrical plasma? So it was on USA’s RAW, June 11, 2007, when WWE chief Vince McMahon left the ring after facing a resounding chorus of boos (and worse). Cameras followed McMahon as he slowly, sadly left the arena. A white stretch limo waited. When McMahon shut its door, the screen went white. An explosion. McMahon was dead. The next day WWE’s Web site views more than doubled, to 36 million, and world press coverage followed. Sorry, Vince, but only the good really die young.
Bridezillas, Anita, WE tv: Anita was left at the altar, but she took Dion back and they eloped. Can you believe it?
Meerkat Manor, Flower’s Death, Animal Planet: It didn’t matter that we already knew fearless Meerkat mother Flower had died when we watched an advance copy. We shed tears regardless, preceding obits in The NY Times and People.
X Games 13, Skateboard Big Air, ESPN: Talk about unscripted programming. On Aug 2, ’07, Jake Brown separated from his skateboard and fell 45 feet down, landing on his back. Unbelievably he walked away, despite a lacerated liver, lung contusions and stress fractures. He continues to compete.