Working closely with speech therapists and image consultants the past several months, and in an attempt to broaden her appeal to a wider national audience, Nancy Grace will reportedly drop her famous southern twang in favor of a different accent.
Sampling dialects and regional accents from the Los Angeles Valley, Northern Minnesota, Boston and finally New Jersey, Grace and her management team test marketed multiple recorded interviews each in a different accent, to measure broad public appeal.
"The statistical results were surprising", says Grace Publicist Anita Nutterjob. "While her normal voice tested in the (Watchable but Annoying) column, other tested accents yielded better TVQ results." Test market statistics for a sample of 1000 viewers from across the country and their ratings by accent appear below:
Horrible|543 Annoying|132 Drivel|142 Entertaining|105 Brilliant|78
Horrible|842 Annoying|51 Drivel|49 Entertaining|30 Brilliant|28
Horrible|346 Annoying|222 Drivel|153 Entertaining|190 Brilliant|89
Horrible|259 Annoying|189 Drivel|97 Entertaining|201 Brilliant|254
New Jersey Dock Worker
Horrible|173 Annoying|156 Drivel|101 Entertaining|246 Brilliant|324
"Clearly the audience reacted best to her New Jersey slang, making her abusive interview style a bit more believable", says Nutterjob. "She will be ready to release her new voice later this spring once her Port of New Jersey training is over".
Transcripts from a mock interview with Jon Gosselin were obtained while Grace was testing the New Jersey accent. In this exchange Grace reacts to Gosselin calling her a "hack".
"What did you just call me? Are you talking to me? You wanna walk out of dis place on your own two legs? You better shut your (bleeping) mouth or me and Vinny here will shut it for you. So you're a tough guy, eh? Nice haircut, tough guy. The moose looks a little gay though. You walk into men's rooms with hair like that?"
Critics of the show seem mostly befuddled that the formula seems to be working. "I mean, it's not news at all, or investigative reporting by any stretch of the imagination. More like Jerry Springer with breasts and blonde hair passing herself off as a news anchor."
"You wanna make something of it?", replied the new and improved Grace.