As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Lou Dobbs abruptly resigned last night as CNN’s 7 p.m. anchor. The network has already named John King as his replacement.
Obviously, a great opportunity has been missed here. CNN, as it has been reported, currently finds itself far behind Fox News in the prime-time ratings race; on a recent night, it finished fourth, with just 826,000 viewers, behind even MSNBC and sister network Headline News. Clearly, something more inspired than simply tapping a known commodity — not to mention a second CNN anchor with the last name King — was needed.
I’m thinking that CNN should have instead gone after the only man ever to achieve cult fame by replacing his own hand with a chain saw.
That’s right: CNN should have hired Bruce Campbell.
Okay, so Campbell isn’t exactly known for his views on politics. He’s far more adept at speaking about what it’s like to be a B-movie poobah and hamming it up in ads for Old Spice than he is at delivering hard-hitting commentary about the state of the world. But think about it. By courting him, CNN could have goosed its ratings by enticing millions of loyal geeks every night to drink from the river Campbell. The network also would have netted a natural branding partner for its current 8 p.m. host. And yet, due to CNN’s short-sightedness, the Comic-Con crowd still awaits the Bruce Campbell/Campbell Brown era.
Not that Bruce Campbell needs the gig. In addition to being the occasional subject of our very own Bruce Campbell Watch, he still has his highly visible supporting role as Sam Axe on Burn Notice, one of cable television’s highest-rated shows. And he will be seen again on big screens as Ash Williams when Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead gets a long-overdue re-release in 2010. In fact, Campbell may have summed up the situation best in that movie’s underrated 1993 second sequel, Army of Darkness, when he said, “Hail to the king, baby.”
CNN might not know it yet, but you can be sure he wasn’t referring to John King.