Thursday, May 8, 2008

Classic or Crap?

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter has an interesting interview with Mike Darnell, Fox TV's "president of alternative entertainment" (i.e., reality shows). Mr. Darnell is responsible for one or two okay TV programs ("Don't Forget the Lyrics"), quite a few lowest-common-denominator programs ("The Moment of Truth," "The Swan"), and a couple programs that singlehandedly prove heterosexuals take marriage about as seriously as a fungal infection ("Married By America," "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?").

At the end of the interview, Mr. Darnell is asked to name his worst ideas and also his favorite ideas that never got to air. I've edited his answers slightly to remove any clues; see if you can tell the classic from the crap.

I was pitched "'Big Brother' with puppets" -- so that half the "Big Brother" people are human and they're competing against puppets. Week after week, the audience either votes a human out or a puppet.

There was the "Left-Handed Awards." The producers were excited about it -- "It's about left-handed people, and Jerry Seinfeld is left-handed, and he'll come on."

A female prison beauty pageant. The whole idea of going from prisoner to hot babe is interesting. They would have filmed it in Croatia and called it "Female Prisoner Beauty Pageant."


#1 and #2 are crap, #3 is classic ("It's empowering to women, it's empowering to prisoners").

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