Why 24/7 Cable News Makes Mike Rowe ‘Anxious’

By Jordan Chariton 

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RoweSomebody’s gotta do it, and Mike Rowe wants you to know who and why it matters.

“They’re a more interesting group, the people who keep us connected,” Rowe told TVNewser in an interview last week about the everyday American workers he will spotlight on his new CNN show “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.”

“They’re the people that make civilized life work.”

Rowe, who rose to fame rolling up his sleeves on Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” sees his new CNN series, premiering tonight at 9pmET, as the perfect platform to tell stories he previously couldn’t. “My only disappointment with it [Dirty Jobs] was that I met a lot of people who I would’ve loved to introduce to the country, but they simply weren’t dirty enough.” (At a launch party last week, Rowe said the new show isn’t another “Dirty Jobs”).

With “SGDI” allowing for less messy storytelling, Rowe emphasized the show is reality TV—for real. “I don’t know what non-fiction means anymore, I’m not sure what unscripted means. It used to mean shows without a script, but clearly that’s not the case. Reality? Don’t even get me started.”

“I think viewers are really hungry for a really authentic show,” Rowe said, adding, “the odds are stacked against us because everything you do in the field winds up getting in the way of telling the viewer the truth.”

“We’re making sure the viewer knows that the people we meet are genuine, that they’re not seeing a second, or third, or fourth take, and that they’re not watching something that was heavily edited.”

And Rowe has thoughts on another non-fiction platform.

“To be honest, the 24-hour news cycle makes me anxious. Honestly, I’m not sure, just as a general observation, it’s made us more informed; I think it’s made us angry.  Personally, I think it’s great that CNN is looking at its platform not as purely news obviously news is who they are, but it seems to be if you back up further, they’re a non-fiction network with an obvious emphasis on news.”

“There’s a huge opportunity for CNN to get people with an actual point of view, who work in the non-fiction world, and give them some space to do what they do.”