Never mind ratings, shares in Peloton have plummeted following the debut episode of the Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That... after a major character was killed off after riding one of the pricey exercise bikes.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis returned to the small screen as their iconic SATC character 17 years after the last show originally aired.
Also returning, (albeit briefly), was actor Chris North as Parker’s onscreen husband Jon James Preston, also known as Mr Big, who was killed off when he suffered a heart attack shortly after completing a 45-minute ride on his Peloton bike at home.
A Peloton spokesperson told Buzzfeed that while HBO made Peloton aware that one of its stationary bikes would be featured in the show’s pilot, plot details were not revealed “due to confidentiality reasons”.
They also confirmed that they had been aware that real-life Peloton instructor Jess King would feature in the episode as fictional instructor Allegra, whom Mr Big has a crush on.
Not only did the move divide fans, it had a swift impact on Peloton’s place on the stock market.
The episode aired in the US on Thursday morning and in the UK on Thursday evening. As of 11:53am EST on Thursday, shares of Peloton interactive were trading down 8.2 per cent. By the end of the day, it had fallen to 11 per cent.
Dr Suzanne Steinbaum, a member of Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council and preventative cardiologist, was quickly drafted in to attempt damage control, claiming Mr Big’s death was the result of his “extravagant lifestyle”.
In a statement to The Los Angeles Times, she explained: “I’m sure SATC fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack.
“Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle – including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks – and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6.
“These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death.
“Riding his Peloton bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.”
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