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October 13, 2015

Short-Lived Shows: The Mole

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 3rd 2006 10:10AM
The MoleA few years ago, when Survivor-mania was at its peak and eating rats still made shocking television, I felt somewhat alienated... because, well, I just didn't see the appeal of reality television. However, that all changed when a program called The Mole arrived on ABC. It was smart, challenging, and featured a silver-haired host by the name of Anderson Cooper. Finally, a reality show worth watching.

The concept of the show was quite smart... A group of individuals went through a series of mental and physical challenges to win a cash prize. The catch was that one of the players was a double agent (the Mole) hired by the show to discreetly sabotage the group (the players were aware that there was an impostor in their midst, though). At the end of each episode, each player would complete a quiz on what they knew about the identity of the Mole, and the person with the lowest score was booted from the show, until there were only three people left (the Mole, the winner, and a loser). There were various clues about the Mole's identity scattered through the show for the viewer to pick up, but I always found those to be totally far-fetched (in one episode, Anderson was eating an apple, the fruit of the Mole's home state... Yeah, like anyone caught that).

The program lasted for only two seasons before jumping into the dreaded realm of "celebrity reality" with a bunch of B-listers as the players. Plus, the two celebrity seasons weren't hosted by Anderson, but Ahmad Rashad. Big downer. The show might as well have not existed those final two seasons because barely anyone saw it.

Although a few reality shows are getting more clever and using more complex methods, I haven't seen anything of the same caliber as The Mole. I'm beginning to lose faith in reality TV again (if Project Runway wasn't still around, I'd switch off the genre permanently), so I'd really like to have this show back again. Anderson hosting once more would be a bonus, but I suppose he's too busy being a proper newsman and all.

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just a reminder,
the mole is a Belgian invention. It ran for two seasons in Belgium, then the producers took a break and returned a few years later with a tirdth season.
The show was always one of the best programm on our television in viewershipnummbers. Though, so less seasons were produced cause the makers wanted it to be fantastic, fresh and great. The broadcasting televison channel (één-VRT) accepted their wishes.

July 06 2006 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it was too "smart" for the general public. And there were no half naked hard bodies walking around for ratings.

I loved The Mole. I wished they hadn't crapped it up with celebrities.

And I thought Bribs was the mole, too.

July 05 2006 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny but I was just having this conversation the other day with a friend of mine who is obsessed with Anderson Cooper. The Mole was above and beyond anything else that was out there in TV land. Think Anderson would mind hosting again if the price was right? Imagine the ratings it would get now if he decided to attach himself!

July 05 2006 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Evan Erwin

Yup, I'm a huge fan of this show (well, I WAS...). I wish it would return, personally. I thought the challenges were interesting and trust is the most important mechanic of a reality TV show.

And holy cow did it suck when the celebs were added. Bleh.

July 05 2006 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

dude, i was such a mole maniac back then. After the first season ended and they were showing all the clues and such from the previous episodes, that when the next season started i just started pulling out random crap like "omg what was the phone number he put in?!?! its a clue a clue!!!!"

but they did show the rest of season 2, correct?

July 04 2006 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm going to stand alone on this one and say that I loved Celebrity Mole. I missed The Mole before it went celeb so I am going to presume that's probably the reason why and not that my television tastes are really off.

July 03 2006 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John S.

Tiny bubbles.......

I loved The Mole more than any other reality game show. It was by far the most intellectual of them all. Plus nothing beats my buddy Rob yelling, "Bribs is the Mole! Bribs is the Mole!" and then watching Bribs get eliminated.

July 03 2006 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This must have been the Arrested Development of "reality" or whatever shows. As much as I heard people rave about it, I couldn't get in on it mid-season.

July 03 2006 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved The Mole, I couldn't believe when they just dropped it 3 episodes into the 2nd season!

July 03 2006 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Of all the reality-competition shows this was my second favourite behind my beloved "Amazing Race". Second because in the end there wasn't that sense of urgency that you have in The Race or that sense that your finish today will at least potentially affect tomorrow's events. "The Mole" was an excellent show which suffered more than "The Amazing Race" as a result of 9/11. It debuted on September 28, 2001 and was pulled after three episodes then brought back in January 2002. The concept was good, the game challenging, and the concept has been very successful in a number of countries. I'm no sure whether Americans didn't get it or didn't want it.

July 03 2006 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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