Stan E. Hubbard


While Ginny Morris, the head of Hubbard Radio, graced the cover of Sunday's Star Tribune, her brother Stan E. Hubbard was making a major-league debut in front of the TV Critics press tour.

Hubbard has presented his Reelz Channel to the group before, but on those occasions, Reelz was a niche product dedicated solely to movies. But now Reelz, which is run out of St. Paul and Alburquerque, is stepping it up, with major documentaries, Canadian pickups and, most notably, reality programming.

I'll say this for Hubbard: He certainly made an impression.

The panels for "The Capones," a series that follows a "Sopranos"-like family that runs a pizza parlor, and "Hollywood Hillbillies," which Hubbard accurately described as a cross between "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," were nothing less than traveling freak shows.

During "The Capones" sessions, the family started fighting with each other and a near-silent character named Uncle Lou, who appeared to be wearing a wig and a fake mustache, is almost certainly in the witness protection program.

"Hillbillies" was an equal train wreck with a on-the-make young man who calls himself The Angry Ginger, and a sass-talking grandmother who asked writers if anyone had a ham sandwich.

I almost got a case of whiplash when these panels were followed by one promoting a new documentary that argues that John F. Kennedy was actually killed by a second shooter, an inexperienced Secret Service agent whose gun accidentally went off when he tried to locate where Lee Harvey Oswald's bullets were coming from.

Reelz may be going down a more sensational route (Hubbard told me weeks ago that he's trying to create the next "Duck Dynasty"), but the bottom line is that this kind of programming, however trashy it is, can bring eyeballs.

There's a good chance one of these shows may connect ("Beverly Hills Pawn") has already tripled viewership in its daytime runs. If so, the Star Tribune may have to make room for another 1A profile on a Hubbard making a national mark.




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