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Showtime Developing a New Reality Show about Gigolos

by Scott Harris, posted Jul 23rd 2010 4:05PM
Showtime logoFor the last decade, producers of reality television have been vying to one-up each other, especially when it comes to sex. From 'The Real World's' increasingly bawdy casting choices to 'Big Brother's' often salacious 24-hour feed, it's become clear that, like in every other form of media, the dirtier it gets, the higher the ratings go. Now Showtime has decided to cut right to the chase by unveiling their ultimate doomsday weapon in the reality sex war: gigolos.

Yes, according to The Los Angeles Times, Showtime is currently partnering with Relativity Media to develop a reality series about male prostitutes which the cable network describes as an "unscripted look into the personal lives of a group of men who offer sex and companionship for money in Las Vegas."

This isn't the first reality show about Nevada sex workers, of course; HBO claimed that landmark honor back in 2002 when it began airing 'Cathouse.' And HBO is also a pioneer in the area of television gigolos, thanks to it's scripted dramedy 'Hung,' about a average joe with above average career potential in the realm of male escorts.

Whether or not Showtime can emulate HBO's success by combining those two heady concepts is unclear, but we wouldn't bet against them. After all, gigolos have been a staple of entertainment for decades -- and not just in hotel rooms across America. From music to movies to television, being a gigolo may not be easy, but it's a sure fire way to grab headlines and critical acclaim.

Here's a look back at some of the key moments in the history of gigolos in pop culture:

'Just a Gigolo' This hit song didn't actually originate with Diamond David Lee Roth, though his 1985 version is probably the best known today. Actually, the song has been popular right from the moment it was written way back in 1928, though the original references to an Austiran World War I hussar have been strangely removed in the intervening decades.

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' Apologies to 'Pretty Woman,' but way back in 1961, before Julia Roberts was even born, 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and George Peppard helped prove that there's nothing American audiences love more than a high class (male) hooker with a heart of gold. We love it when a plan comes together.

'Midnight Cowboy' Jon Voigt's male hustler helped power this groundbreaking 1969 film to unexpected heights, as it became the first and only X-rated movie ever to win the Best Picture Academy Award. Red-faced Academy members later decided to retroactively change the movie's rating to an R, which is kind of like closing the barn door after the gigolo has escaped.

'American Gigolo' Speaking of 'Pretty Woman,' Richard Gere first became an instant A-list Hollywood star when he proved that he had both acting and hustling chops way back in the 1980 classic 'American Gigolo.' An unexpected side effect of the film: metrosexuality suddenly became cool to the extreme disappointment of hairy-chested, mustachioed disco fans around the world.

'Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo' After nearly 70 years of work turning gigolos into Hollywood's coolest characters, all that pop culture momentum nearly came to a permanent halt thanks to Rob Schneider's 1999 comedy, which stripped away all the sex appeal from sex. Six years later, 'Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo' would strain diplomatic relations by making male prostitution skeevy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Who's Your Favorite Pop Culture Gigolo?
David Lee Roth1 (6.7%)
George Peppard1 (6.7%)
Jon Voigt3 (20.0%)
Richard Gere9 (60.0%)
Rob Schneider1 (6.7%)

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Another crappy reality for sure.

March 09 2011 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

Of course, they continue to dance around the reality that the overwhelming majority of male sex workers cater to male clients--yet virtually every fictional and 'reality' presentation, outside of gay indie cinema, depicts female clients.

July 23 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BC McKinney's comment

I find that odd, too.

July 23 2010 at 11:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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