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September 21, 2014

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Mark Burnett Shopping New Singing Competition for Daytime TV

by Rich Keller, posted May 11th 2010 11:20AM
Mark Brunett will create and produce a new singing competition show for daytime TVWith the slate of daytime soap operas continuing to dwindle, there are a number of open spaces for the networks to fill. Since there are only so many 'Judge' shows that can fit into a schedule, these networks are looking for something different, yet comfortable, and reality show king Mark Burnett may have just the solution.

Teaming up with Trifecta Entertainment, distributor of shows like 'American Idol Rewind' and 'The Hills,' Burnett will create, produce and distribute a new reality-based, syndicated daytime program called 'One in a Million' for the 2011 season. Similar in scope to the FOX powerhouse 'American Idol,' the half-hour strip will feature will feature four contestants competing against each other, with a panel of three judges deciding on the day's winner. On Fridays, a weekly winner will be determined.

Each month, the weekly winners will compete in a semifinal competition. Those winners will then compete in the finals, which will be held during the last week of the 33-week season. The winner of that week will then win $1 million.

Tell us: Is 'One in a Million' a show you would watch, every day, for 33 weeks?

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It's Official: Sarah Palin's Going to TLC

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 25th 2010 11:10AM
sarah_palin_outdoorsWell, the deal is done. Sarah Palin's next line on her resume, the one after Vice Presidential candidate and Governor of the State of Alaska, will be television host. The former politico has teamed with reality TV producer Mark Burnett and they've sold a travel show. Discovery's TLC will air 'Sarah Palin's Alaska,' a show about the state and why it's such a great place to live and/or visit. Sarah Palin will be the tour guide and 'proud daughter' of the territory, showing off the mountains, lakes, streams and vistas of the 49th state.

As Joel pointed out the other day, this new show is a good move for Palin as well as Discovery. The numbers she'll need to pull for TLC are in the low millions, so that should be do-able considering her appeal to a large segment of the public. Especially that segment that likes her without taking an interest in her political opinions. This show will have no politics. It's going to be like a movie from the Alaska Convention and Visitor's Bureau. You know, "Come to Alaska, experience the wild life and feel the chill." (Hmm ... maybe I should trademark that?)

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Four Reasons Why Sarah Palin and Discovery Are a Good Fit

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 24th 2010 3:06PM
Sarah Palin at book signing for Yesterday, we found out from James Hibberd at THR's Live Feed that Discovery Communications has won the bidding to air an Alaskan travelogue program hosted by former governor Sarah Palin, and today, it was revealed that it will officially air on TLC. 'Sarah Palin's Alaska,' which will be produced by Mark Burnett, is going to be a pricey proposition for Discovery; Gov. Palin was asking for $1.2 million per episode, according to Hibberd.

But it's going to be worth it. Whatever you may think of her politics, Palin is a network programmer's dream. In fact, Palin and Discovery seem to be a pretty good pairing, for a number of reasons:

1. Palin is charming and has a good screen presence. The big reason why she was so popular during the 2008 presidential campaign was that she connected with a lot of people who were outside the usual Republican base: mothers, parents of kids with special needs, and others. She was folksy and chatty, and she was able to connect with her audiences despite whatever flaws she had in the policy knowledge department.

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Who Needs Celebs? NBC Bringing Back the Original 'Apprentice'

by Sharon Knolle, posted Mar 17th 2010 6:16PM
Ta ta disgraced governors. See ya, washed-up rock stars.

According to the TheWrap, NBC is bringing back the celeb-free version of 'The Apprentice' for the first time since 2007, with a recession-era twist: "Real people" contestants who've been hit hard by the bad economy will get a chance to reverse their fortunes by wowing boss Donald Trump.

The return of the original premise has been rumored for some time. Trump recently declared himself all for it, telling reporters, "I will be very involved if they bring back regular 'Apprentice,'" he said. "I'd be very involved in the casting again."

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The Fall of 'The Apprentice'

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 16th 2010 5:58PM


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.

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Mark Burnett's New Series Pits Game Show Host vs. Game Show Host

by Kim Potts, posted Mar 11th 2010 9:45AM
His last game show attempt, 'Our Little Genius,' didn't even make it to the airwaves, but reality TV uber-producer Mark Burnett has a new idea that sounds like a winner.

ABC has ordered to pilot 'Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host,' a Burnett-produced series in which two hosts go head-to-head on various topics, with contestants from the audience challenged to determine which one is telling the truth.

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Would You Watch 'Help Me, Martha' as in Martha Stewart?

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 5th 2010 12:30PM

Martha StewartMartha Stewart Living Omnimedia, along with Mark Burnett, is trying to pitch 'Help Me, Martha' as a new reality television program. In it, Martha helps someone who is having a party or "lifestyle issue" get things together. In short, it is the most unreal reality television ever devised.

The show is slightly reminiscent of 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' or even 'The Marriage Ref.' It's great how television assumes that people have no control over their own lives (in truth they don't, but I hardly think making them a television spectacle is going to help).

If you were planning something, would you really want Martha there looking over your shoulder? She comes across as pretty bossy. If your party idea didn't match with hers, she could very well change it around on this television program without your say-so. And if you didn't like it, she'd have to let you go.

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Are You Ready for the Sarah Palin in Alaska Reality Show?

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 4th 2010 10:23AM
Sarah PalinShe's already done stand-up comedy during 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,' but now it looks like Sarah Palin is teaming with über-reality producer Mark Burnett to bring you a series about Alaska. No network is involved with the series yet, but Fox News would be a good place to start.

Seriously, when one does a "reality television show" about a state, it's usually called a documentary or a tourism video. If that's the purpose, then this is a good idea. Sarah Palin could host a documentary about Alaska. She'll likely be on script, so there are no dangers of fielding questions from reporters and given her fame, it would likely be a boon to the state in terms of tourism. They would want to see the sort of place that would produce someone like her.

However, this show will more likely focus on the ex-Governor herself as well as her family and their experiences within the state. It is interesting how she wants the media to leave her family alone but has no problems parading them in front of the camera for her own ends.

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FCC Gets Involved in 'Our Little Genius' Investigation

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 22nd 2010 2:29PM
Mark BurnettWho says that quiz show scandals don't happen anymore? In the 1950s, shows and sponsors got in trouble for supplying game show contestants with answers to questions. Now it looks like it might be happening again, and the FCC is getting involved.

Questions arose several months ago about FOX's new game show 'Our Little Genius.' At first it seemed like the show was just going to reshoot the first episodes because there might have been a problem with contestants hearing the answers to the questions (or at least in the way the young kids were coached). Then the show was put on the shelf completely.

Now the FCC is investigating the matter. According to The Los Angeles Times, the father of one of the contestants tipped off the FCC about how producer Mark Burnett and his staff were running the show. One of the aspects of the show was that, at the very least, the kids knew what topics the questions would cover.

This would be dumb on so many levels. One, we don't need game shows/reality shows to be rigged or even slightly tampered with (for obvious reasons), and two, it involved kids aged six to twelve. Gah. I wonder if this could lead to investigations of other reality and/or game shows?

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Review: Live for the Moment - Roger Childs (series premiere)

by Michael Pascua, posted Jan 29th 2010 1:20AM
Roger and Jeff Probst on Live for the moment.
(S01E01) Live for the Moment goes for the heartstrings at the first minute. In the premiere episode, we meet Roger Childs who started to suffer from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease). Even with his body degenerating, he's managed to continue to be positive for his wife and two children. Jeff Probst arrives, hands the family a journal with several "missions" and hopes that the family will live for the moment.

On paper, the show is basically Phil Keoghan's show No Opportunity Wasted, but with a bigger budget and longer timeline. Live for the Moment is truly a combination of The Bucket List, Big Fish, and Up! The show is saccharine sweet and would have fit perfectly on the Hallmark Channel.

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Oh yeah, Fox execs talk about Conan and Our Little Genius, too - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 6:22PM
Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice of FOX at the Winter TCAs
Before and after the FOX execs so dramatically brought Simon Cowell on stage to sign the contract bringing his British show The X Factor to the US, effectively ending his time on American idol, there were other heady matters to discuss. Just small stuff, like the possibility of Conan O'Brien bailing on NBC and joining FOX, and the mini-scandal surrounding the game show Our Little Genius.

On Conan, there really wasn't much to say. "We're in sort of the wowee mode right now," said entertainment president Kevin Reilly. After reiterating what he's said in the past on always being in search of a good five-night-per-week late night program, he went on to say that "I love Conan personally & professionally. Until he makes his decision (on whether to leave NBC), there's no conversation to be had."

But since he knows Conan's people, it's not like he hasn't been talking, at least informally. He classified them as being more in the "commiserating phase;" knowing Reilly's history with NBC (Jeff Zucker fired him three years ago), I could understand the commiseration.

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Fox pulls Our Little Genius because of possible contestant tampering

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 8th 2010 11:30AM
Our Little GeniusFox has pulled one of its reality game shows from its lineup. Is it because they felt the show was exploiting families and their gifted children by publicly humiliating them in front of a national audience for profit? Hell no, this is Fox, a network that would pit a bear against a roided bald eagle in international waters and call it "educational programming."

Producer Mark Burnett has temporarily pulled the plug on his newest venture called Our Little Genius because of the possibility that some of the contestants were coached before competing.

Burnett said he learned that some of the producers told the contestants the topics on which they would be quizzed and even some of the questions they would be asked. This doesn't mean the show is gone forever, just for the moment. Again, hello, it's Fox.

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'Our Little Genius' Premiere Shelved by FOX

by Andrew Scott, posted Jan 8th 2010 11:05AM
Mark BurnettAnyone hoping to catch next week's premiere of FOX's 'Our Little Genius' will now have to wait a bit longer to see it.

Yesterday, the network announced that it is delaying the debut of the kiddie quiz show, which was supposed to air Wednesday after 'American Idol,' because its contestants were reportedly given information ahead of time.

"As a result, I am not comfortable delivering the episodes without reshooting them," series creator Mark Burnett said in a statement. "I believe my series must always be beyond reproach, so I have requested that Fox not air these episodes."

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Kevin Pollak to Host Fox's 'Our Little Genius'

by Jane Murphy, posted Dec 4th 2009 4:05PM
Kevin PollakSome of the rogues in the 1995 film classic 'The Usual Suspects' have made their way to TV recently. Kevin Spacey and Gabriel Byrne have put in time at HBO (on 'Recount' and 'In Treatment,' respectively). Stephen Baldwin has become a reality staple on such shows as 'Celebrity Apprentice' and 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' (we get it, Stephen, you're a celebrity.)

But today, Kevin Pollak took us by surprise by teaming up with reality titan Mark Burnett on a new game show.

'Our Little Genius' will premiere on Jan. 13 in TV's most enviable time slot: right after the first Paula-less 'American Idol' on Fox. Pollak will host 'Genius,' which will feature child prodigies showing off their knowledge for cash prizes.

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Mark Burnett to Take Over 'HGTV Design Star': How Will He Redesign It?

by Chris O'Connell, posted Dec 4th 2009 12:43PM
Mark Burnett'Survivor' producer Mark Burnett will take over the reigns at 'HGTV Design Star' from 495 Prods, the Hollywood Reporter confirms.

The British producer will be expected to "infuse [the show] with fresh perspective and innovative ideas that will serve as a blueprint for a successful fifth season," according to HGTV senior vice president of programming Freddy James.

Burnett introduced competition-based reality programming to American audiences. In addition to his work on 'Survivor,' Burnett has produced everything from 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,' to 'The Apprentice' to MTV's 'Bully Beatdown.'

In 2007, his work on 'Survivor' won him an Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class).

'Design Star,' which just wrapped its fourth season in September, is a bit of a departure from Burnett's resume. Which means he may have to spruce it up a little to compete with the intensity of his other shows.

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