Greg is a funny guy. He’s been a stand-up for years, and he once held dreams of becoming a rock star. He made his fortune, however, by casually telling a woman that the guy she was dating was “just not that into you.” And boom, a star was born.
Greg used to be a consultant on Sex and the City, and the woman he said that to was a writer on the show, so it was immediately incorporated into an episode. If you aren’t a Sex and the City fan, let me refresh the scene for you: Carrie and Berger (my new boyfriend Ron Livingston) are having dinner with her friends, and Miranda is recounting the tale of a date she just had. When she completes the story, Berger reveals he didn’t want to come back to her place with her because “he’s just not that into you.” Miranda’s friends go into a frenzy of analysis and defend her to the end, but Miranda says, “thank you. That was the most freeing thing I’ve ever heard.” She then tries to repeat the line to a couple of younger women she overhears on the street to poor effect. She also accuses a later date of being “not that into her,” only to learn that no, he actually is having serious intestinal problems. So it’s not a hard and fast rule.
In any case, this line had a similar ripple effect in the country. Behrendt, with encouragement from his wife, Amiira, wrote a book called “He’s Just Not That Into You,” which shot to the top of the best-seller lists. The book offered pretty basic dating advice – if he’s not calling you or asking you out or generally paying any attention to you, it’s time to move on and get a new guy. But apparently women nationwide did not know this and the book shot to the top of best-seller lists. Behrendt ended up on Oprah, and even more books were sold.
Sometime last year, Sony decided they thought Behrendt was a good choice to host a one-hour syndicated talk show. He is charming, funny and relatable, but there’s some problems with this premise: 1) syndication is pretty much an impossible business, and all the more impossible for Sony because the company doesn’t own stations and has a hard time getting shows on good time periods. But this show was done in partnership with Tribune, which owns many stations, so perhaps that will prove helpful with the ratings; 2) I’m not sure how long Greg can jump off this “he’s just not that into you” schtick, and I’m not sure where it can go from here. 3) Even with Sex and the City, the book and Oprah, most people haven’t heard of this guy. People in
That snobbery is all well and good when you are in your glassed-in office on a studio lot, but
I wonder who will be first to write the headline in the likely event that Greg’s show fails: “Audiences just weren’t that into him.”