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Reality News Update, April 11: New Shows and Show Newsby David Bloomberg -- 04/11/2003
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It’s time once again to bring you up to date on some of what’s going on in the world of reality television. We have a bunch of new shows to report on, and some other news as well, so let’s get right to it!
It may be hard to believe these days, but some people do still date and get engaged and married without being on a reality show. Then again, some people who were on reality TV also continue with their lives.
Such is the case with Neleh Dennis, the runner-up on Survivor: Marquesas. According to several RNO correspondents, Neleh announced her engagement last week on her morning news show. The groom is her pre-Survivor boyfriend. No word on if she will be inviting others from the show.
We’ve had several previous articles about people getting up in arms about the show (such as one about an organization fighting to stop the show and an update that discussed some Congressmen taking a stand against it as well), and it hasn’t even started yet! Well, now the entire Louisiana Senate has officially weighed in.
Reuters is reporting that the Louisiana Senate voted 23-1 this week to ask CBS to not air the show, saying it will make fun of rural Americans. Information was not provided on who the one person in opposition was, but perhaps they felt the state senate should be doing something more important, like working on a budget or passing laws or something. Or maybe they realize that it’s kind of silly to protest a show before you have even seen it – indeed, before it has even been cast!
It must be nice for the state senate to have so much free time on their hands.
Have you ever wished you could just throw it all away and start over again? Well, now you can – to a point. NBC Enterprises and Bunim-Murray Productions are producing a new syndicated reality program, Starting Over. As far as I know, this is the first syndicated reality TV show.
Production on the show will start in June and casting is now underway nationwide for women who want a second chance at life. Those who get on the show will all live together in Chicago while they go after that chance. If they succeed, they move out of the house and into their new life. If they fail, they have to go back to their old life (which in some cases doesn’t seem so bad, such as the applicant who wants to give up her high-salary job to work with kids). Whenever one woman leaves, another will enter to take her place. This means the show could pretty well go on forever.
In a syndicated show, the producers must get individual stations or groups of stations to sign on for the series. 80% of markets have signed up for this show in the 2003-4 season, including all but one of the top 30 markets. So in all likelihood, you’ll be able to see it wherever you are.
We’ve seen a show before (well, half a show) where families lived together and competed for the house – Under One Roof. And now we’ll see it again – though in quite a different way – on A&E. House of Dreams, a new reality show that will begin production this summer, will pit 13 couples against each other as they try to build their dream house. The catch, of course, is that each week will see one of the couples leave.
The final couple gets to keep the house, though there is no information yet on how the other couples get removed – voting, carpentry contests, or whatever. The show was developed by Granada USA, who most recently brought us I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here!. No premiere date has yet been set.
Mark Burnett is a busy guy. Not only does he have to worry about Survivor, but now he’s dealing with three new shows as well!
First, there is Boarding House: North Shore, a show scheduled to premiere June 18 on WB. He was brought in after the footage was shot late last year to help pull it all together. The show is about surfers in Hawaii living together and competing against each other. Whoa, dude.
Next is his project with Donald Trump, The Apprentice, for NBC. Contestants will compete in New York’s corporate world to win a job working for The Donald for a six-figure salary. Trump and other executives will review the players’ progress and toss one person each week (although news on the show indicates it’s a 13-week program with 20 contestants, so obviously more than one person gets tossed at some point).
Burnett has said they hope The Apprentice turns into a long-term franchise like Survivor that can move around to new businesses. Perhaps soon we’ll be seeing: The Apprentice: The Amazon. Or maybe not.
If you want to apply for The Apprentice, go to the show’s website; the application is due by June 10. The site says applicants should be able to take risks, bounce back after failing, succeed in a cutthroat environment, go against the tide, remain focused, think creatively, and be a leader. No information on if you need to be an expert butt-kisser as well.
Burnett’s third show, of which he is an executive producer, is rather the opposite of being a high-falutin’ business exec. For this one, he is looking for chefs, waiters, waitresses, bartenders, bus-boys, and related staff for the show, The Restaurant. And unlike most reality shows, they actually want people with experience in these areas!
The show will follow the opening of a Manhattan restaurant owned by Rocco DiSpirito, who is apparently a celebrity chef and sometimes hosts Melting Pot on the Food Network (I am not terribly familiar with “celebrity chefs,” I must admit). It is scheduled for a summer run on NBC and Burnett’s fellow executive producer, Robert Riesenberg, has said it will feature “real life, high-pressured drama.” Apparently, it is not a contest of any sort – just a show that follows what goes on at the restaurant. The patrons will be from real life – well, as real as you can get with cameras everywhere.
Incidentally, as we have seen so many times in Survivor, The Restaurant is also looking for companies willing to pay for product placement. They say the sponsors will have “the ability to integrate their products in a completely natural way.”
It should be noted that all of this reality work for Burnett doesn’t even include the sitcom he’s executive producing for WB, Are We There Yet?. He’s one busy guy!
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David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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