Last August WE tv’s president Marc Juris crowed, “Sex Box is one of the most unique and compelling show concepts we’ve ever seen, and we can’t wait to bring it to WE tv.”
Juris may now be licking his wounds, as this self-described “bold show” seems to have lost advertisers and Juris has had to move Sex Box from primetime to the midnight graveyard.
In Sex Box, a couple has sex in front of a studio audience (inside a sound-and-sight-proof booth), then emerge as the post-coital “cuddle hormone” oxytocin courses through their bodies to receive relationship counseling from a panel of experts. WE tv says, “post coital therapy is more powerful and effective” than any other kind.
As giddy as the programmers were with their new show when it was announced last summer, parents were equally outraged and took to the Internet to express their outrage. The Parent’s Television Council (PTC) started a petition that got 42,000 angry parents involved.
Now, after the airing of only four Sex Box episodes, PTC tells Breitbart News the show has lost all national advertisers. They say Arm and Hammer ran an ad for Truly Radiant deodorant in the first episode but pulled it after PTC complaints.
Melissa Henson, head of grassroots advocacy for PTC, told Breitbart News the only national advertiser to appear in the second episode on March 6th was Skechers, but the Skechers ad appeared in Sex Box without their specific approval. Skechers sent an email to Henson’s group saying theirs is a family brand and would therefore no longer appear on Sex Box.
Henson told Breitbart News that PTC contacted 200 national advertising prior to the Sex Box premiere on February 27 and warned them the show would have offensive content. By the third episode, aired on March 13th, not a single national ad appeared, according to Henson. “We have monitors all over the country and we did not see a national advertiser in any market,” said Henson.
In what may be the best evidence the show is failing, tonight’s fourth episode of Sex Box has been moved from its primetime spot of 10 pm to midnight, a time when virtually all networks only ever run repeats.
A spokesman for WE tv told Breitbart News they “would not respond to any of the things said by Parent’s Television Council.”
The spokesman specifically refused to answer questions about losing national advertising.
However, she did confirm the show was being moved from its primetime spot to midnight. She claimed, “The reason for moving the show is we really are looking to expand the show to get more viewers.”
When asked what other shows on WE tv at midnight outperform primetime programming, she said, “This the first time we are trying out that time slot with premier programming.”
She refused to say if the controversy surrounding the show has hurt advertising or viewership.
Melissa Henson and PTC monitors around the country will certainly have their DVRs set for Sex Box tonight at midnight on AMC’s WE tv network.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse