25 YEARS OF SEXY: PEOPLE MAGAZINE'S SEXIEST MAN ALIVE (TV)

Summary

A television special about People magazine’s annual “Sexiest Man Alive” feature.

Hugh Jackman, the 2008 “Sexiest Man Alive,” talks about how this appellation affected him. Larry Hackett, the managing editor of People, gathers his staff together for a meeting to determine the 2010 “Sexiest Man Alive,” which has significance since it represents the 25th anniversary of the feature’s presence in the magazine. The feature began in 1985, when the editors of People were in the process of publishing a feature on Mel Gibson. One editor notes half-jokingly that Gibson is “the sexiest man alive,” and the comment inspires the issue’s headline, and soon catches on to become an annual feature. The issue in question sells over two million copies and captivates the public interest. Hackett notes that part of the determination for choosing the “Sexiest Man Alive” is based on popularity and public fascination with a particular person, as well as physical attractiveness. Harry Hamlin, “Sexiest Man Alive” of 1987, notes that he felt rather embarrassed when he was given the title. The top-selling “Sexiest Man Alive” was in 1988, when John F. Kennedy Jr. was given the title; he was also the youngest man to be named, as opposed to the following year when then-59 year-old Sean Connery is given the title. By 1997, the “Sexiest Man Alive” feature becomes hugely popular for the magazine when George Clooney is given the title (he later receives it again in 2006). Clooney and several of his fellow actors launch a successful campaign to get Matt Damon named “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2007. Matthew McConaughey, “Sexiest Man Alive” of 2005, received something of an unlikely nomination, and he jokes about his inclusion in the feature. It is also noted that Patrick Dempsey has narrowly missed being named on several occasions.

Hackett leads his staff in the selection process for 2010, advising them that they need to select an individual who is “hot, well-known, not too young, not too old,” and a number of other factors. Many candidates are considered, including Ryan Reynolds, Jon Hamm, Justin Timberlake, Javier Bardem, Armie Hammer, Ben Affleck, Ricky Martin, James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Robert Downey Jr. The editors discuss what specific criteria they seek, including the “hierarchy” of attractive traits in a man and what the public sees in them. The first round of discussions ends inconclusively, with many candidates still being discussed. The next step of the process involves acquiring photographs of the candidates and use them for focus group testing to help narrow down their list. Hackett explains that much of the “gamble” comes down to the photograph used on the cover; Jackman notes that being sexy involved “being comfortable in your own skin” and the projection of one’s personality. People on the street are asked about their thoughts, and many pick either Reynolds or Johnny Depp as their selection for “Sexiest Man Alive” of 2010. Online testing also points towards Reynolds as the pick, and the editors decide to select him as the 2010 “Sexiest Man Alive.” He is picked mainly for his appearance and sense of humor.

Lisa Rinna, actress and wife of Harry Hamlin, is quite pleased about her husband’s status as a “Sexiest Man Alive,” and says that she continues to consider him “sexy” after knowing him for 18 years, noting that “emotion is sexy.” Columnist Heide Banks hosts a discussion with a number of women to get their opinions on what “sexy” is, and they have a number of different answers and opinions. Patti Stanger, host of the television show “Millionaire Matchmaker,” believes that personality and being happy has much to do with sexiness. Banks believes that “commitment” has much to do with making men seem to be sexy. Lisa Niemi, wife of the late actor Patrick Swayze, “Sexiest Man Alive” of 1991, talks about her immediate attraction to him and their long and happy marriage, as well as his death from pancreatic cancer in 2009. Since 1997, People has also incorporated a feature about “real” sexy men into its pages, drawing upon non-famous men for their pages. Often these men include men working in heavily manual jobs such as construction, and they represent more “attainable” figures than the celebrities featured on the cover. Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher discusses the biochemistry of the brain which creates attraction. Several of the “real men” featured in the pages of People are interviewed, including a construction worker, a mover turned male model, a deliveryman, a member of the armed forces, a chef, and a fashion designer.

Reynolds is interviewed about his selection as 2010 “Sexiest Man Alive,” discussing several topics, including his frequent shirtless scenes in some of his films, his breakout role in the film “The Proposal,” his upbringing in Vancouver, Canada and his appreciation and respect for his father, his history with acting beginning with a daytime teen soap opera and taking him to Hollywood, his romantic relationships with figures such as Scarlett Johansson and Alanis Morissette and how he has worked to keep his romantic life private, his adoption of a rescue dog, a golden retriever named Baxter, and his participation in efforts to raise money to help fight Parkinson’s disease. At the University of Aberdeen’s Face Research Lab, computer technicians used advanced software to combine the facial characteristics of all the “Sexiest Men Alive” into a single face as a parting image. Includes commercials.

Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: November 17, 2010 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:57:37
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 105169
  • GENRE: Specials
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Specials
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV, 2010
  • COMMERCIALS: TV – Commercials – “Tangled” motion picture^TV – Commercials – Plavix antiplatelet agent^TV – Commercials – DiGiorno pizza^TV – Commercials – T-Mobile phone service^TV – Commercials – Farmers insurance^TV – Commercials – Wal-Mart department stores^TV – Commercials – Nikon cameras^TV – Commercials – Gerber baby formula^TV – Commercials – Quilted Northern toilet paper^TV – Commercials – “Morning Glory” motion picture^TV – Commercials – Toys ‘R’ Us toy stores^TV – Commercials – Maybelline cosmetics^TV – Commercials – Dyson vacuum cleaners^TV – Commercials – Tresemme hairspray^TV – Commercials – Fisher-Price toys^TV – Commercials – JCPenney department stores^TV – Commercials – Progressive insurance^TV – Commercials – Lincoln automobiles^TV – Commercials – United States Postal Service delivery service^TV – Commercials – Victoria’s Secret underwear^TV – Commercials – Olay skin cream^TV – Commercials – “Eat Pray Love” home video release^TV – Promos – “2010 American Music Awards”^TV – Promos – “Dancing with the Stars”^TV – Promos – “Skating with the Stars”^TV – Promos – “Off the Map”^TV – Promos – “Grey’s Anatomy”^TV – Promos – “Celebrity Plastic Surgery: Gone Too Far?”^TV – Promos – “Beyonce: I Am…World Tour”^TV – Promos – “What Would You Do?”^TV – Promos – “Jimmy Kimmel Live”^TV – Promos – “V”

CREDITS

    • John R. Green … Executive Producer
    • Jessica Velmans … Senior Producer
    • Jim DeBrueil … Producer, Writer
    • Kimberly Launier … Producer, Writer
    • Andrew Paparella … Producer, Writer
    • Muriel Pearson … Producer, Writer
    • Harry Phillips … Producer, Writer
    • Freddie Dorn … Producer
    • Marc Honaker … Producer
    • Kristin Pisarcik … Producer
    • Mark Robertson … Producer
    • Susan Welsh … Producer
    • Marilyn Heck … Associate Producer
    • Samantha Wender … Associate Producer
    • Jeff Winn … Director
    • Kim Powers … Writer
    • Chris Connelly … Writer
    • Kim Kardashian … Host, Narrator
    • Hugh Jackman … Interviewee
    • Cutler Derkee … Interviewee
    • Larry Hackett … Interviewee
    • Harry Hamlin … Interviewee
    • Ryan Reynolds … Interviewee
    • Lisa Rinna … Interviewee
    • Patti Stanger … Interviewee
    • Heide Banks … Interviewee
    • Lisa Niemi … Interviewee
    • Justin Hughes … Interviewee
    • Helen Fisher … Interviewee
    • Michael Brader (audio id only) … Interviewee
    • Orville Wooten … Interviewee
    • Emmanuel Escobedo … Interviewee
    • Rocco Despirito … Interviewee
    • Richard Chai … Interivewee
    • Betty White … Interviewee
    • Ben Affleck
    • Javier Bardem
    • George Clooney
    • Sean Connery
    • Matt Damon
    • Patrick Dempsey
    • Robert Downey Jr.
    • James Franco
    • Mel Gibson
    • Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Jon Hamm
    • Armie Hammer
    • Scarlett Johansson
    • John F. Kennedy Jr.
    • Ricky Martin
    • Matthew McConaughey
    • Alanis Morissette
    • Patrick Swayze
    • Justin Timberlake