Instead, I'm going to focus on the things that really stood out this year. Sorry, Mad Men fans, but even though this was a great third season and an amazing finale, I expect it at this point. It's the only way I could come up with to keep my list manageable.
Also, as a point of protest I did not include Jon, Kate or the balloon boy hoax. These events got more attention than they deserved already this year, and I feel bad I even mentioned them.
Next week marks the premiere of MTV's newest reality game show Silent Library, based on the game of the same name from the Japanese variety show Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!
For those who don't spend time watching videos forwarded to them by their friends and are therefore productive members of society, the game is played by six dunderheads in a "library." They each draw a card, five reading safe and one with a skull and crossbones on it. The player who draws the Jolly Roger has to do an uncomfortable or painful stunt, but must resist the urge to scream. It's the least intelligent use of a library since The Da Vinci Code hit the shelves.
- At 8, FOX has a new Hole in the Wall, then a new Kitchen Nightmares.
- NBC has a new America's Got Talent at 8.
- The CW has the season premiere of Smallville at 8, followed by the season premiere of Supernatural.
- TruTV has two new episodes of Speeders at 8, then two new episodes of The Principal's Office.
- Discovery has a new NextWorld at 8, followed by a new Smash Lab.
- Nickelodeon has another new episode of My Family's Got GUTS at 8.
- At 8:30, ESPN has College Football, West Virginia vs. Colorado.
- At 9, History Channel has a new Modern Marvels.
- Spike has a new TNA Impact at 9.
- Also at 9: BBC America has a new Dragon's Den.
- At 10, CBS has a new Flashpoint.
- USA has the season finale of Burn Notice at 10.
- FX has the season premiere of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
- Food Network has a new Ace of Cakes at 10.
Check your local TV listings for more.
After the jump, the late night listings.
I love quirky and unique game shows as much as the next guy, but can you really base a whole show off of people trying to fit their bodies into a shape in a wall before they get pushed into a pool of water? FOX thinks so, with their new game show Hole in the Wall. I know it's a huge hit overseas, I just don't get why. Maybe if the challenge were just one of several different types of challenges in a show, it'd be more compelling.
If every week on Survivor the challenge was to stand on a pole out in the water until you were the last man standing ... every week the same thing ... I think that show would have gone off the air a long time ago. And yet, FOX seems to think we can watch this for an hour a week and keep tuning in. Of course, we keep tuning into Deal or No Deal which is basically just picking briefcases so maybe we can.
Hole is being brought to America by American Idol producers FremantleMedia North America and came to be after clips of the Japanese version became hugely popular on YouTube. Ellen DeGeneres also got a kick out of the Japanese competition, not only featuring several clips on her talk show, but even going so far as having audience members participate in her own version.
If you've had enough of shows being imported to the US from the UK, maybe some Japanese grown entertainment will work for you. On the heels of ABC's upcoming Wipeout, and Fox's Hole In The Wall, another popular Japanese game show could be crossing the Pacific.
Vin Di Bona Productions, of America's Funniest Home Videos fame, has acquired the rights to Masquerade (Kasou Taishou). The show, which the linked article calls Japan's longest running hit series, finds contestants using costumes, props, and sets to create performances that trick the eye. Sound confusing? I thought so too. There are a couple videos of just what that entails after the jump. Having now watched them, it is an interesting concept, but I don't see it being an idea that works as a weekly series. As far as I can tell, it's only done a couple of times a year in Japan. That sounds much more reasonable to me. Of course, I never would have guessed that dad getting hit in the nuts with a Wiffle ball bat would still be working after 19 years either.
[ via Reuters ]
The version coming to American television next season is called Hole in the Wall. This game show is about people contorting their bodies to fit through an odd-shaped hole in a wall. The wall comes flying at them and they have to fit through the hole or be pushed into a pool of water. Simple, right? And it's going to be addictive as hell.
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