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End of the Season Interview with Scott Satin, Co-Executive Producer of 'Meet My Folks'by Andrea Shuman -- 08/30/2002
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We caught up with Scott Satin again after the very successful summer run of Meet My Folks (click here if you missed our first interview with Scott). NBC has ordered more episodes of this new breakout hit. How will Scott and his Cracker Jack staff top themselves? Read on for all the juicy details…
Andrea: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us again, Scott. Tell us, what's it like producing a hit show?
Scott: Everyone is unbelievably excited! The reaction from audiences has been through the roof! At the beginning, my goal was to figure out if a "Comedy Reality" show was possible. Now, I feel we've defined an entirely new genre. Not all reality shows have to be four-hour endurance tests or serious stuff. Sometimes, they can be simply fun to watch.
Andrea: When will Meet My Folks return?
Scott: Well, NBC has ordered nine new episodes. I believe the plan at the moment is to have two run during November sweeps. The rest should be shown in January or February. Our "reversal" episode was incredibly popular, so we're going to be doing several more "three girls/one guy" scenarios. We're also considering an "arc" episode, a two-parter.
Andrea: How would that work?
Scott: We'd start off with six guys, instead of three, for the parents to choose from. Also, we're in the planning stages for a "Celebrity" Meet My Folks. Either one of the parents, or the girl, or all three guys will be well known. Probably all three guys. And, we're definitely doing a Reunion Show.
Andrea: What will that consist of?
Scott: We're planning to bring back all the families, and all the guys, including the discarded ones. We'll catch up on what everyone's been doing, and if the couples are still together. We're also considering having the boys question the Dads with the polygraph. Turnabout is fair play, after all!
Also, you'll be seeing some never-before-aired scenes from different episodes that we had to edit out for time's sake. Some of them are unbelievable. It's like "Sophie's Choice" for me every time we have to edit three day's worth of film for 44 minutes of programming. Incredibly difficult!
Andrea: The question that seems to be on everyone's mind is: how do you top this? I mean, everyone's seen the fax machines, the closed circuit TV, the Dinner Challenges, the Ex-Girlfriends, and such. Won't they be prepared?
Scott: We knew this when we started filming the first season… eventually people will learn the tricks we had up our sleeves. But don't you worry… my staff and I spend 16 hours every day coming up with new and totally different obstacles to confound the family and the guys. You won't be disappointed when the new season starts!
Andrea: Oooh! Can you give us a hint of the new challenges?
Scott: (laughing) Then they wouldn't be a surprise, would they?
Andrea: But what about the Lie Detector? Surely you won't be changing that.
Scott: Of course not. The polygraph machine is our trademark. I'm going to give RealityNewsOnline a real exclusive here. This is how our polygraph test really works:
First, you have to understand that in real life, when a polygraph test is given, a suspect is handed all the questions in advance. Questions like, "Did you assault Joe Blow with a hammer?" Things like that.
The suspects reads over the questions, and fifteen minutes later, the exact same questions are asked, with the suspect hooked up to the machine. Then when a question is posed, all the body's reactions can be measured more accurately, because the suspect has had time to ruminate and think about them. A suspect who knows the questions in advance gives the polygraph administrator a more accurate reading of a truthful response, not less.
But with Meet My Folks, we want to see the boy's reactions as the questions are first posed, because that's the fun part! We want to see them squirm or laugh when they're asked, "did you flirt with my wife this weekend?" or "will you try to sleep with my daughter?". So, we film the entire test with the boys hearing the questions for the first time.
As soon as the exam is over, production completely stops. Parents, daughter, and the boy are all sequestered. No one is allowed to say a word to each other. This is when Nick [Savastano, the show's Polygraph expert] and I take the boy aside. We go to a quiet, cool, secluded spot. He's given something to drink, if he wants. We try to make it as calm as possible.
Then, he's hooked up again, and I re-ask every single question. Of course, I change the wording to, "Did you flirt with Mrs. Smith this weekend?" and so forth, so it makes sense.1 2 3 Next-->
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