Here the TV industry has spent millions, maybe billions, to stay in the prime-time pop culture game with zany concepts like "Pushing Daisies" and an ever-increasing incidence of hip, trendy, casual sex.
And it turns out that viewers would rather watch ballroom dancing? The same engine that drove the least hip show in TV history, "Lawrence Welk"?
Now it's true that "Dancing With the Stars" isn't just stately fox trots and waltzes. The dances get lively, the costumes are tarted up, and the contestants are encouraged to create dramatic subplots - even beyond Heather Mills' leg - that never would have made it onto "American Bandstand," never mind "Lawrence Welk."
Still, in contrast to prime-time dramas like "Cane" or "Dirty Sexy Money" that seem contractually obligated to provide flesh scenes, "Dancing With the Stars" remains a show parents can watch with the kids in the room.
There's sex appeal, sure, but it's the old-fashioned kind, an implicit aura that can mean something different to every viewer - or nothing at all to those who simply enjoy graceful movement.
Amazing how satisfying a little subtlety can be.
Tonight is the finals with up to 25 million predicted to tune in to see who takes home the championship. Personally, I'll be pulling for Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves.