While watching the two-hour (read: interminable) debut of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' on Sunday night, I was trying to figure out if Cyndi Lauper is out of this show's league, or vice versa. Maybe I'm thinking about leagues because of all the previews for the new Jay Baruchel movie, but for some reason that's how the question phrased itself in my head. Has Cyndi Lauper really sunk this low?
'The Apprentice' used to be an A-list show when it debuted in 2004. Remember? It was a serious competitive reality show that was nominated for Emmys against shows like 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race', and for cinematography -- in other words, the gorgeous New York skyline shots that peppered the episodes. Back then, people watched the show and compared the tasks and the competitors to their own workplace.
(S20E05) In the image above, it looks like James is surrounded by a bunch of schoolyard bullies on 'Survivor.' Well, he is surrounded, but things aren't always as they appear to be. The same can be said for the strategies of some of these all-so-great returning players, too. While some strategies remain consistent (a snake oil salesman isn't going to turn into the Avon lady), others are baffling me this season.
Sony Computer Entertainment America has partnered with producer 51 Minds to launch a reality TV series, Variety reports. The program, titled 'The Tester,' will be available only to PlayStation 3 owners, running exclusively on the PlayStation Network.
This is the industry's first foray into original programming modeled on the broadcast network format. PS3 has previously offered an original anime series, coverage of upcoming games and a behind-the-scenes look at the video game industry.
Before you know it, it will be time for another whirlwind race around the world as the Emmy-winning reality show, The Amazing Race, returns for its 16th season. The new season is set to premiere at 8 PM ET/PT on Sunday, February 14. Today CBS announced the teams we'll be loving or hating as we vicariously travel around the world with them from the comfort of our own homes. The official CBS website is up and running with in-depth bios of the teams.
"What's your pet's name?"
What? Couldn't Fido or Mr. Fluffy-Kins give you a psychic business card?
With the prime time arrival of Pet Psychic Encounters on Saturday nights over at Animal Planet, we have yet another show that exists comfortably in the realm of the unprovable. You can't disprove that series host Sonya Fitzpatrick is a pet psychic because an Alsatian is very unlikely to hop up and scream, "No, I did not say I prefer dry food to leftover meatloaf! I object, sir!" You can't prove a negative. The same rule holds up for the endless march of ghost shows on "reality" TV.
The reality show features choirmaster Gareth Malone (right) as he attempts to forge a top-notch choir in England's cash-strapped schools and underprivileged neighborhoods. The 13-episode series will run this coming spring on BBC America.
So, Malone showed up in Pasadena this weekend to promote the show to the assembled TCA throng. After the standard clips and Q&A were winding down, Malone ducked out of the quick and easy farewell and invited the reporters to come up on stage and form their own flash choir.
- The end of reality television - I just want this genre to die a horrible, slow, painful death, preferably involving leeches. I recognize that there are some gems in this pile of crap, but I loathe those sorts of shows that appeal to the worst and most gossipy nature within us. Get rid of them all. Except for those on the Food Network, because that channel is cool.
- A stellar fifth year of the new Doctor Who - Admittedly, I was hesitant when they hired Matt Smith as The Doctor, who only yesterday just learned to walk. However, the brilliant Steven Moffat is behind the show and my expectations are very high. And disappointing a man with a television blog at his disposal is a bad idea, Steven.
Even though the show has been on forever, I still enjoy my weekly dose of the new South Parks. But lately, they seem to be running out of targets or have narrowed their focus too much on one particular evil: reality television.
The season opener featured a rather nasty swipe at Disney's Jonas Brothers. The recent "Dead Celebrities" chortle-fest took a much needed pot shot at Ghost Hunters, aka, "the gayest f#*$ing show on television." And last week launched an all out attack on Discovery's Whale Wars and Deadliest Catch, particularly against Whale Wars star Paul Watson.
The show has always been a bitch to write and making every episode a satirical masterpiece is impossible without suffering a full-on breakdown. But should the show lay off reality TV and take some bolder shots at reality, which as we all know are two completely different things?
(S15E01) In this single two-hour season premiere, we were reminded why The Amazing Race keeps snapping up those Emmy Awards for the best reality show on television. We're talking quality teams -- no Jerry Springer fans here! We're talking the adrenalin rush that viewers get just sitting on couches watching the show. We're talking a glimpse into other lands, cultures, and people we might never get the chance to experience in our own lives. We're talking simply amazing.
(S14E10) Oh, boo-hoo. I don't understand why anyone with such a fear of water would even consider going on a show like The Amazing Race. Almost every season there's some sort of swimming which has to be done. Perhaps I'm biased because I learned to swim at a young age. My own personal theory of dealing with life is that everyone should learn how to swim, drive a stick shift, and change a flat tire. Hey ... those talents could win the race!
(S14E09) Promos for tonight's The Amazing Race made it look like there might be a knock-down drag-out fight between Jen (of Kisha and Jen) and Luke (Margie and Luke, naturally). Now, there's nothing that can make an interesting show even more interesting than an old-fashioned brouhaha. At least, not in my book, there isn't.
So, I'm thinking ... Luke versus Jen. Which one would I put my money on for the win? I'd have to go with Jen. While Luke throws a good hissy-fit, I think she's not one he should take on. Maybe if it were a hissy-fit brouhaha, Luke would have the edge.
If roughing it isn't your style, consider being in a house without entertainment. Big Brother 11 is casting for the summer season. Sure the prize is only $500,000, but you won't come home with any stomach viruses.
Casting on both shows have been hit or miss. In Survivor: Tocantins, 12 of the 16 contestants were recruited. This includes the latest castoff, Sydney who was recruited from a bar.
Mark Burnett has struck a deal that will let people produce their own audition tapes.
Burnett signed a deal with Studio One Media to supply high traffic areas with self-serve kiosks that let people put together their own tapes for a measly twenty bucks. They can also provide a web-based service that lets contestants upload their own videos.
From the 1950s through the 1980s, reality television programming was a rarity on the schedules of the Big Three networks. It was more of a novelty that piqued the interest of the viewers for a few months or a few seasons, then was relegated back into the shadows while scripted shows dominated the airwaves. It wasn't until the very end of the 1980s, when FOX premiered COPS, that reality-based programming became a prime-time staple.
It stayed that way for several years. Then, just like that, it all changed, thanks to one show that premiered in 1992. With a simple program on a fairly new cable channel, reality programming went from television rarity to huge success. So much so that, in a few short years, it spawned various direct copies and variations of its concept on both the over-the-air and cable networks. By the early 21st century the airwaves were filled with more reality programming than scripted works, garnering the ire and the joy of many a long-time television viewer.
And, it all began on a network primarily known for its music videos and Pauly Shore.
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