Saturday, May 03, 2008

Reality shows I'd like to see

Now that we’re in May, networks start carting out their reality shows for the summer. People locked in a room, AMERICAN IDOL with inventions, etc. So as a public service, here are a few of my suggestions for reality shows:

DONNER PARTY SURVIVOR: every week the losing tribe votes someone off the island then eats them.

THE BOSS – interning for George Steinbrenner thus combining the Apprentice with Fear Factor.

CELEBRITY POSSE SWAP – Bette Midler’s fag hag entourage switches with Alan Iverson’s.


JOE WELFARE – Women with bad judgment compete for Mr. Wrong.

THE UNBELIEVEABLE RACE where people from Iowa have to take the subway from Woodlawn to Bay Ridge.

CELEBRITY MAKEOVER where every week Diana Ross gets something else done, and finally:

THE BACHELOR IN PRISON. Be careful where you put the rose.


Anonymous said...

For such a good comedy writer, your taste in television (reality) is worrisome.

Anonymous said...

So does DONNER PARTY SURVIVOR air on CBS or The Food Channel? Would Food Challenges mean the losers had to eat huge meals, to fatten them up to look more appetizng?

I'm certain I would find Celebrity Posse Swap hilarious if I had a clue who Alan Iverson is. Really. Who is he? (And yes, I would so be in Bette's entourage if I could be.)

JOE WELFARE - I have watched this show play out in real life SO many times. So many, many times. So many, many, many times. I have known way too many women who think "If he really loves me, why does he ignore me for that stupid job of his?" Then, after the wedding to the guy who DOES have all the time for them they want, they enter hell, and spend all their time complaining to me about it.

And how about HORRIBLE CELEBRITY JOBS, where we see the life of say, a Diana Ross Personal Assistant, or Paula Abdul's translator, Paulaspeak to English. Oh wait, they ran that show.

or The Real Real World. Self-involved know-nothings have to hold down real jobs, and pay bills.

Real Life Romance. We watch people who have been married 20 years or more sit in a room watching TV, and never speaking to each other. To save on production costs, they just come and put a mirror on your TV screen.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I'd try and put a trademark on that celebrity posse exchange if I were you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you didn't see it, but the "Survivor with cannibals" idea was probably best executed during Run Ronnie Run with the fake show 'Elimination Island'.

Anonymous said...

AMERICAN EUNUCH - an all-male version of American Idol, with Lorena Babbit as the sole judge. Getting eliminated would be the unkindest cut of all (Brought to you by Ginsu).

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, one of the newsmags (Prime Time Live maybe?) did a bit where they set up fake auditions for a Survivor type show. One of the "tests" that potential contestants had to face was eating human flesh. It was really just some strips of chicken they'd fried up, but the wannabes didn't know that. If I recall correctly, every one of them partook of the treat. And when the ruse was revealed -- they all laughed it off! And of course not one of them, before or after, said anything like "Oh my God, what kind of an amoral, useless idiot am I? I ate [or thought I ate, as the case may be] human flesh! Willingly! Gladly! So I could be on TV! I'm going to go kill myself now! And my children, too, lest my pathetic genes live on!"

Anonymous said...

I can't say that I'd object to eating human flesh per se, but I do think I'd first inquire how they acquired it. Was it - ah - donated willingly? Was it kosher? Were they raised humanely? I wouldn't want to eat human veal, so to speak.

When Cheston started hollering "Soylent Green is PEOPLE!" I always wanted to ask,"Yes, but is it good?"

impwork said...


Anonymous said...

How about this idea for a reality TV series: "Network Executive Countdown."

The premise is this: Each network's viewers are tested for IQ at the start of the season and at the end. Those executive's whose audience's IQs go down are fired and have to spend a year cooking meals in a federal penitentiary.

Or this idea: "Iraq Invasion." In it, every pundit on TV who supported the invasion of Iraq is gathered in Baghdad outside the green zone. Whoever is the last standing is the winner.

Anonymous said...

How about a show where all the B-listers and D-listers have to compete. They can do whatever they want, sing, dance, recite Shakespeare. The one's voted off can never work in public again. Call it "America's Tired of You."

Or, how about one where the rich and famous have to live on a busboy's wages for two months, or until they give up. Call its "Riches to Rags."

HEATHER said...

Now see I would gladly participate in and watch THE BOSS. Why yes, I am that crazy!

Anonymous said...

First chance at the site in days. (In this house we call this getting gang-levined.) So let me just say belated I enjoyed the Jamie Frevele Q & A. Ken, have you ever thought about reducing some of the blog burden by just getting a producer to ask you questions every day? Why should you always have to come up with both the ideas and the implementation too?

RE: Pilot season:
“Panglossary” the best of all possible words pilot. What draws the best daytime ratings – game shows and soap operas, right? Why not combine ‘em? One-hour series. Each week, in the first half-hour, we watch some poor slob win $10-million competing against two other “Voluntaires” by (well, it doesn’t matter does it, but for the sake of a hook, let’s rip off The Match Game). We then follow the winner through the 2nd half-hour and see how the filthy lucre ruins his life. Yes the whole thing is scripted, but so were half of the quiz shows, and you still wouldn’t know who the winner was going to be.

And, yes, I know this is roughly the theme of the old “The Millionaire” drama series with Michael Anthony handing out checks without any inhibition (oh wait, that’s the Defense Department). But that didn’t have the drama of game show competition and the fabulous Panglossary home game consolation prize. Or two losers even before the dramatic part begins.

I don’t know if there’s ever been a combo like a sitcom about a comedian, the first portion of which would be a real live act with boffo material, then following him home or to the office for the sitcom portion. I know there have been sitcoms like Van Dyke about comedians or comedy writers, even like Seinfeld where there’s a hint of opening monologue that you forget whether it’s related or not once you’re into the show. Or Danny Thomas, Desi Arnaz etc. with performing written into the script (when you really feel the need to be Eli Stoned -- although then it was supposed to be an actual act). Surely there must have been more than one show I’ve missed for the viewer who enjoys standup and sitcom equally? Or would half a show of standup every week just kill the writers? Seems like 5 days of Leno would be the equivalent, so we know it could be done? Maybe just not well.

Anonymous said...

Public Brilliance...Follows comedians, celebrities, politicians who give great performances because of thier staffs of writters and who are complete bricks in real life...

rob! said...

howabout a show that follows tv executives for fox, cbs, abc, cw, and nbc, and watch them each develop a show, and whichever show gets the lowest ratings gets fired? it would have a real house of mirrors type feel to it.

either that or something involving Donald Rumsfeld a bunch of lead pipes, i dunno.

Anonymous said...

"Public Brilliance" has been done, otherwise known as the Fred Thompson For President campaign!

Anonymous said...

Two ideas I've always liked:

WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S: 12 teams of two are given a fresh corpse and a series of challenges during which they have to pretend the body's still alive.

AUCTION BLITZ: A team of specialists surprise a house owner by secretly auctioning off their house and moving them out.

Anonymous said...

OK since it’s been a week, I get two more, just to tidy up.

Emily, I pray to God you’re not the same Emily I’ve been trading suggestive instant messages with for the past three months. But in either case, I think it’s Bobbitt (which is already onomotapeatic in and of itself). Lorena Babbit would be the type of broad who’d only Ginsu your manhood at a Rotary Club meeting.

j.b. Re: the human flesh-eating pilot, would boogers count? As long as they were your own? I think I remember that human flesh-eating newsmag, because it reminded me of something an old early influence in Connecticut Stanley Milgram might have tried – except you’d have to force your “partner” to consume the entrĂ©e. Hey, why not, another one of Dr. M’s experiments was essentially the pilot for “Six Degrees of Separation?” (I’m not making that up.) And let’s face it, the man was a Jeff Goldblum doppleganger. Also, can we please see a show of hands, who hasn’t written a restaurant scene where you hear the hostess in the background inquiring “Donner, party of four?” Only to acknowledge that must have already been used half a billion times already – and a quarter billion of those by you yourself?

As far as the Survivor taste test, when I was a kid I never fully recognized mom’s Gracie-Allenisms for what they were. Now we’ve all had mothers who tried to get us to eat the perhaps squeamishly unacceptable with the assertion, “Tastes like chicken. Tastes like chicken.” But how many subsequently would then be seen coating chicken pieces on the grill with something like a lemon or orange juice glaze, offering the explanation, “Well, it gets rid of that chickeny taste?

Anonymous said...

Stump the Stars -- Celebrities' legs are amputated at the knee if their team fails to win a series of wacky, madcap challenges (this would also go a long way towards improving ADA access in buildings and other facilities in the greater Los Angeles area).

Anonymous said...

For NBC's(highly plugged) All American Summer:

HITCH HIKING COUGARS-Dina Lohan, Kathy Hilton and their hand picked posse hitching across the good 'ole US of A foregoing credit cards and sans make-up. (Jeff Zucker is salivating all over his desk)

SCIENTOLOGY TREASURE HUNT-Winners get to spend the night at the home of Tom Cruise.

MY IMPLANTS ARE BIGGER THAN YOURS-Posh Spice judging a la Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum.

WHO WANTS TO BE OUR NANNY-Contestants vying for the green light from Rob and Mrs. Rob Lowe

BOTOX DETOX-How much time do we have

VP81955 said...

Ken, your "Amazing Race" quip reminded me of this: I had a friend of mine from Washington state who once told me that as a teenager, she was with a group visiting Manhattan in 1970. She got on the subway trying to return to her midtown hotel...but it was the 7 line, she didn't know any better, and she ended up in Flushing. (I assume she realized something was amiss when her train passed Shea Stadium, unless she was sitting on the side of the train with her back to the ballpark.)

David said...

The reality show I am hoping for:

"From Homeless to Hottie"

Anonymous said...

Jokes about Bette Midler and Diana Ross? What decade is this?

Anonymous said...

LIFE BOAT - 10 people adrift in the ocean on a big inflated life raft. two cases of Dasani, one box of Clif bars (we can be flexible here, for product placement opportunities), one knife. last one on the raft wins.