It used to be that TV networks tried to present blockbuster special event entertainment programming in prime time during "sweeps" months to attract larger audiences. Expensive mini-series, controversial movies and big-name guest stars filled the airwaves in November, February and May.
Scratch that strategy as too expensive in these downsized media days.
Now the game is to get big-name stars and/or controversial guests on your talk shows. Think of Oprah and Barbara Walters with Sarah Palin later this month -- or Diane Sawyer scoring a November sweeps scoop Thursday on "Good Morning America" with Rihanna talking about the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown. It is the first time she has talked about the widely-reported assault.
The pop star said it was "humiliating" and "traumatizing" to acknowledge that the assault took place. She also said it was "wrong" that she went back to Brown after the beatings. (AP Photo\ABC Ida Mae Astute)
"That's embarrassing that that's the type of person that I fell in love with," Rihanna told Sawyer. "So far in love. So unconditional that I went back. It's humiliating to say this happened. To accept that? It's a traumatizing experience."
She added: "I stayed. I even went back after he beat me, which was wrong. But again ... I'm a human being and people put me on a very unrealistic pedestal. And all these expectations, I'm not perfect."
The full interview will air Friday at 10 p.m. on ABC's "20/20." Read more of the interview and see video here.
And I am sorry, NBC. But having Kate Gosselin on for the 50th time doesn't count in this league.
How about you? Will you be watching the Palin interviews? Will you watch Rihanna Friday night? Who would you like to see interviewed? Who are you sick of seeing? Yes, Kate Gosselin does count in this caregory.