NBC may be holding back in its coverage of U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte’s run-in with authorities over what Rio de Janeiro cops insist is a fabricated robbery report – in keeping with the broadcaster’s apparent let-others-lead policy on Olympics scandal coverage. But that’s not to say the company isn’t looking for opportunity to cash in on the kerfuffle.
Today for instance, NBCUniversal co-owned Esquire Network announced it’s slapping on its lineup a marathon of reality series What Would Ryan Do? starting tomorrow at 6 PM ET/PT.
“What is going on with #LochteGate?! Who the hell knows!” Esquire Network wondered rhetorically in its announcement, saying it would “help put the pieces together” with the re-airing of eight half-hour episodes of the reality series that originally aired on NBCU’s E! network in 2012. The episodes will air consecutively through 10 PM ET/PT.
The series originally debuted on E! in April 2013, following Lochte’s performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games. In announcing the series about the “vivescent” athlete at TCA in January 2013, E! said it wondered “How deep is the pool of Ryan Lochte?” and discovered, “It turns out, very deep.”
The episodes feature the swimmer partying and training in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics which, we now know, he was destined to hijack with his harrowing tale of having a gun put to his head by a robber posing as a cop at a gas station.
In the reality series, shot in happier times for Lochte, we see him building his fashion line, making media appearances, and “looking for the right girl.”
Peppered through the show are “Lochteisms.” Extra points if you can locate, in the marathon, the prescient Lochteism warning that the swimmer has strong feelings about his right to pee anywhere, any time: “I always pee in the pool … doesn’t everyone?”
And if you are wondering what would a disciple of Aristophanes do, in advance of Esquire’s marathon, on the reality series’ Wikipedia page, we have answers. He would edit the descriptions of the 2013 series to say the final episodes looked at what Lochte would do if he was caught vandalizing and urinating on the side of a gas station, and what the Olympic swimmer would do if he were being interviewed by Brazilian authorities: