Let’s start off by saying that BARBinc is totally “Team Barber Battle”… The Beauty industry is our passion and we’ve spent years (literally) reporting on the barbers featured on this TV series. So, we’re naturally biased and will gladly say that every minute of “Barber Battle” was a joy to watch..!!
This isn’t a story about how beautiful Lady Lena Piccininni looked (which she did!) or how exciting it was to see Joe Barajas talking smack to Radames Perez (who gave it back twice as hard…) or even the incredible BarberArt featured by the finalists…
No… This article is strictly about the bottom line – which in Hollywood breaks down into two things: Ratings and Reviews.
How did “Barber Battle” do…?
Ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demographic), the better the chances for survival.
According to Neilsen’s ratings service, “Barber Battle” was dead-last for the evening with a 0.2 rating and less than a million viewers.
This can only be described as a disappointment since the other 8pm shows (including a rerun of the Cameron Diaz movie “Bad Teacher” registered significantly larger ratings – which means that people were watching TV – just not “Barber Battle”.
Even worst… the two other CW Networks shows from that night (“Who’s Line Is It Anyway” and “The Messengers”) secured higher ratings and viewerships above 1 Million.
Even with sluggish ratings, a TV show can often be supported by positive critic reviews – showing both Hollywood executives and potential sponsors that a show is worth investing time and money upfront in exchange for a future payoff. Unfortunately, Barber Battle did not impress the “powers that be”…
Neil Genzlinger, writing for the New York Times, opens his review with harsh words that cut deep:
“More interesting than watching grass grow, less interesting than chain-saw sculpturing…”
On the West Coast, Brian Lowry, TV columnist for Variety was a little kinder:
“As host, Cedric the Entertainer certainly keeps things light and breezy, and the marriage of star and concept is half the “Battle.” But the series is so challenged for volume it’s a struggle even to fluff out episodes to a half-hour.”
In the final analysis, we at BARBinc will continue to watch “Barber Battle” because, let’s face it – the show had us at “Hello”. Also, we can’t wait until #BarberArtists like Rob the Original (Roberto Farrel) and Sea the Barber get their turn in the spotlight.
But Hollywood is a fickle mistress… and unless the show is able to increase it’s ratings in upcoming weeks, it’s hard to stay positive about the show’s viability beyond Season 1.