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August 30, 2014

The Mole

Best TV of the '00s: Reality Series

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 31st 2009 2:02PM
top chef judges
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a major category that came of age in the aughts: Reality shows.

While I would never call myself a reality TV junkie, it really bugs me when people make blanket statements like, "I hate reality TV," or, "Reality TV is the bane of my existence." The genre has grown so much in the past decade that it has become just like scripted television, in that there's good and there's bad. Even though we're splitting this up into two lists, "Reality," and "Trashy Reality," you won't see a single show that starts with, "Who Wants to Marry" on either list.

This list is dedicated not to the guilty pleasures, but to the shows that you wouldn't be embarrassed for your neighbors to know you watch: the classy reality, if you will. So without further ado, here is TV Squad's list of the best reality shows of the decade.

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Best TV of the '00s: Reality Participant / Contestant

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 29th 2009 7:02PM
the osbourne familyMore of our best of the decade coverage, which started earlier today. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about our favorite reality contestants and participants.

Whether we like it or not, the '00s introduced us to a new form of celebrity: the reality star. In previous decades, the closest we got to this were especially entrancing personalities from MTV's Real World. These people gained fame for acting like well-crafted exaggerations of their real selves.

Faster than you can say, "I didn't come here to make friends," networks picked up on the public's fascination with reality TV like Survivor and they pushed it to the popularity that it has reached today. Now, reality shows barely reflect what happens in normal people's lives but are generally more like high-concept game shows or extremely scripted improvs. But people keep watching, because the personalities are big and captivating.

Yup. Strategic footage editing does wonders. Here are some of our personal favorites from the genre, but feel free to comment with your own worthy additions!

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The Mole's last hurrah?

by Michael Pascua, posted Jul 16th 2009 4:28PM
A mole contestant falls off the edgeIn a last hurrah, The Mole was nominated for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music in the Emmys. Like Pushing Daises, we'll probably never see The Mole on ABC again. The nomination had to be one of those, "well, we really don't have any other better options" decisions.

The show's intro was probably the best new reality opening theme of the past year. The only other reality theme I could remember was Stylista's and only because it was a pastiche of girly shopping.

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The Mole: Season Finale

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 12th 2008 12:04AM
The Mole - Mark, Nicole, Craig
(S05E11) "How can she be a doctor and threaten to kill people?"
- Kristen, about Nicole

Yes!

Could fans of The Mole had written a better outcome for the show? I guess there is one scenario (which I'll get to after the jump to avoid front page spoilers) that would have been just as good as what happened tonight, but this was perfect too. And I'm actually happy with myself for correctly guessing last week who the Mole was. I even picked up on one of the clues! Of course, I had no idea what the sound meant until a couple of you readers played the sound backwards (thanks!).

Let's take a look at who won, who the Mole was, who lost, how the Mole fooled everyone, and what clues were scattered throughout the season.


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What's On Tonight: Olympics, The Closer, Unwrapped

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 11th 2008 4:00PM
  • The MoleNBC has more Olympics coverage all night.
  • At 8, ABC has a new High School Musical: Get in the Picture.
  • Food Network has a new Good Eats at 8, followed by new episodes of How'd That Get On My Plate? and Unwrapped.
  • ESPN has more Little League World Series coverage at 8.
  • At 9, PBS has a new History Detectives.
  • There's a new Monday Night RAW on USA at 9.
  • TNT has a new episode of The Closer at 9, then a new Saving Grace.
  • MTV has the new movie The American Mall at 9.
  • VH-1 has a new I Want To Work For Diddy at 9.
  • At 10, ABC has the season finale of The Mole.
  • ABC Family has a new Middleman at 10.
  • Showtime has a new Weeds at 10.
  • Also at 10: Food Network has a new Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Check your local TV listings for more.

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TV Squad: The Week Ahead

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 11th 2008 8:07AM
Bernie MacOur Monday morning roundup of a half dozen things TV Squad readers - and TV fans in general - will be talking about this week.

1. The death of Bernie Mac. He was going to star in a new sitcom on FOX, and now he's gone, at the much too young age of 50.

2. The Olympics. Did you know that many of these athletes have gone through very trying times to get to the Games? It's true! (All week on NBC, with coverage on MSNBC, CNBC, and USA as well.)

3. The new star of CSI. Producers are currently negotiating with Laurence Fishburne, but I'm really holding out hope for Andy Dick.

4. The season finale of The Mole. Is it Craig, Nicole, or Mark? More importantly, will we get another season of this show? And if we do, will ABC actually promote it? (Tonight at 10pm on ABC.)

5. The Bob Saget Roast. Expect lots of jokes about the Olsen Twins. (Sunday at 10pm on Comedy Central.)

6. ABC's Wanna Bet? Just kidding! This is actually what TV Squad readers won't be talking about this week.

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The Mole might be canceled, so start sending your lemons to ABC

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 6th 2008 12:41PM
The MoleThe ratings for The Mole have been ho-hum, and ABC President Steve MacPherson says that if the ratings don't improve then we probably won't see another season of the show. Now, he said this a few weeks ago, so we've had a few episodes since then (and the season/series finale is next Monday), so he has probably already made up his mind about the show, though he likes the show and is pleased with the efforts to save it.

Of course, you can do a lot more. Someone has come up with the idea of sending lemons to ABC to save the show, a la the nuts campaign that saved Jericho for a half season. Why lemons? Mole contestant Paul kept a lucky lemon with him all the time, and at one point Clay even threw it at him during an argument. (Reality Blurred doesn't really seem to like the show, but the article above is interesting anyway.)

So, start stocking up on lemons. And make sure you draw little sad faces on them.

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What's On Tonight: Teen Choice Awards, American Gladiators, The Closer

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 4th 2008 4:04PM
  • WeedsAt 8, FOX has the Teen Choice Awards.
  • ABC has a new High School Musical: Get in the Picture at 8, then a new episodes of Wanna Bet? and The Mole.
  • NBC has the season finales of American Gladiators and Nashville Star.
  • At 9, Lifetime has the new movie The Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal.
  • There's a new Monday Night RAW on USA at 9.
  • TNT has a new episode of The Closer at 9, followed by a new Saving Grace.
  • VH-1 has the series premiere of I Want To Work For Diddy.
  • Also at 9: GSN has a new World Poker Tour.
  • At 10, ABC has a new Middleman.
  • Food Network has a new Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives at 10.
  • Travel Channel has a new Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations at 10.
  • Showtime has a new Weeds at 10.
Check your local TV listings for more.

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Love Connection is not one of the best game shows of all-time

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 30th 2008 2:06PM
Ken OberAh, another day, another list. This one is from PopCrunch, and it lists the 25 Best Game Shows of All-Time. And yes, it will provoke discussion and hair-pulling.

It's not a bad list actually, as these things go. It's a little predictable (and I certainly wouldn't have included Love Connection, Deal or No Deal, or Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?), but there are some good choices here. Press Your Luck was a great show (though it should be higher on the list), and it's hard to argue with how high shows like Jeopardy and The Price is Right are. I also like that they included The Mole (the first two Anderson Cooper-hosted seasons) and Remote Control.

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The Mole: Episode 9

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 29th 2008 12:27AM
Craig(S05E09) "I've been wanting to shoot somebody ever since I got here." - Nicole

So here we are down to four players: Nicole, Paul, Craig, and Mark. These are the four players that a lot of us have been thinking could be The Mole. That means we're great at guessing this game but it also makes it harder to figure out at this point since any of them could be the guilty party.

It could also mean there's just no way to figure out who the hell the mole is so we might as well just sit back and enjoy the show. But I can't leave it alone...

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What's On Tonight: Nashville Star, Middleman, Weeds

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 28th 2008 4:02PM
  • Anthony BourdainThe Discovery Channel's Shark Week continues.
  • At 8, ABC has a new High School Musical: Get in the Picture, followed by new episodes of Wanna Bet? and The Mole.
  • NBC has a new American Gladiators at 8, then new episodes of Nashville Star and Dateline.
  • TCM has a new Under The Influence at 8, featuring Quentin Tarantino.
  • At 9, PBS has a new History Detectives.
  • TNT has a new episode of The Closer at 9, then a new Saving Grace.
  • There's a new Monday Night RAW on USA at 9.
  • GSN has a new World Poker Tour at 9.
  • At 10, ABC Family has a new Middleman.
  • Food Network has a new Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives at 10.
  • Showtime has a new Weeds at 10.
  • Also at 10: Travel Channel has a new Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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The Mole: Episode 8

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 22nd 2008 1:01AM

The Mole(S05E08) I was always terrible at math in school, which probably explains why I'm typing this right now. So this episode of The Mole, at least the first half, is rather tense for me. I like to follow along with the questions and the clues and try to figure out stuff myself in this game (as much as you can in an edited format), and all of the questions involving math problems in the first challenge confuse me. Still, I knew the answer to that one question was 455, and I couldn't understand why Clay was insisting it was a number it couldn't possibly be. Could he be screwing up the numbers on purpose because he's (insert dramatic music)...the Mole?

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What's On Tonight: High School Musical, World Poker Tour, Middleman

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 21st 2008 4:03PM
  • The CloserAt 8, ABC has a new High School Musical: Get in the Picture, followed by the premiere of Wanna Bet? and a new episode of The Mole.
  • NBC has a new American Gladiators at 8, followed by new episodes of Nashville Star and Dateline.
  • Versus has more coverage of the Tour de France at 8.
  • TCM has a new Under The Influence at 8, featuring Laurence Fishburne.
  • At 9, PBS has a new History Detectives.
  • TNT has a new episode of The Closer at 9, then a new Saving Grace.
  • There's a new Unwrapped on Food Network at 9, followed by a new How'd That Get On My Plate?
  • GSN has a new World Poker Tour at 9.
  • At 10, ABC Family has a new Middleman.
  • E! has a new episode of The Soup at 10.
  • Showtime has a new Weeds at 10.
  • Also at 10: Travel Channel has a new Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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Hey fans, it's time to Save The Mole!

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 15th 2008 2:49PM

The Mole logoAnother week, another petition to save a show.

Producers of ABC's spy reality series The Mole have created a web site to save the ratings-challenged show -- Save The Mole. Right now the site consists of an open letter to fans from Scott Stone and Clay Newbill, the producers of the show.

They say that while a lot of critics agree that the show is one of the smarter reality shows, it's not doing well in that all-important 18 to 49 demographic. Those specific ratings are stale, but there's still time to save the show. They want hardcore fans to get other friends to watch the show, post on the ABC message boards, and go to the Mole Facebook page. They also announce that FOX Reality Channel will have a marathon of the current season this Sunday at 11 AM.

The site is very low-tech. Just black text on a white background with a couple of images. It's rather 1997-ish, but I actually like it.

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The Mole: Episodes 6 and 7

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 15th 2008 8:23AM

The Mole logo(S05E06 and S05E07)

Yup, that's right, there are two episodes of The Mole this week, thanks to last week's interruption by The Bachelorette. Of course, it turns out that the first episode is just one of those reality show "up to this point..." rehashes that we often get. These always bore me, especially since I've seen (and reviewed) every episode already. I'm sure there are a few new clues to who the Mole is in this recap, but I'll be damn if I could find them.

We did, however, get to see some unseen footage, including the very large Craig rolling over some of his fellow players on a bed and Nicole saying "All I have to do is be black and die," a quote from an earlier episode that I had forgotten about. We also get to see a new scene where Nicole and Alex admitted throwing that "Fruit of the Luge" challenge. But overall, it's not really a needed episode for fans.

So let's get to this week's new adventure...

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