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Dumb and Dumber
February 5

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!

First of all, I would like to take a little time out and wish my girlfriend Sharron a happy birthday this week! I love you, kiddo. As always, thank you for downloading the podcast from the link at the upper left, or from the webpage at If you are reading this, thank you for reading. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I can officially announce we are now on Itunes! Search my name, Jason Block or Block Party and you should be able to find me. The link will be on the webpage and in the show notes. I am going to start this podcast with a bit of a joke which I am cleaning up here. A man walks into a bar and sees a very attractive young woman. He walks up to her and says, "Would you have intimate relations with me for one million dollars? She thinks about it and says, "Yes.". He pauses and says, "Would you do that for one dollar?" She gets offended and says, "What do you think I am?" He says, "I know what you are, we are just in negotiations."

That is the feeling I got when I watched my candidate for the worst show of 2008, "The Moment of Truth" on Fox. The concept of this reality game show is this. A contestant takes a lie detector test with 50 questions. 21 of those questions will be asked again in studio. If you tell the truth, you win cash. If you lie, you are out. If you answer the first six, you'll win $10,000. You can walk away, but if you answer the next 5, you get $25,000, the next 4 you get $50,000, the next 3 you get $100,000, the next 2 you get $250,000. And if you can answer all 21 correctly you get $500,000. The level ending question is usually asked by someone different or important to thin. The contestant is answering these questions from host Mark L. Walberg. And they are doing in front of family and/or friends. The family members can hit a button if they don’t want to hear the answer to a question, but can only do it once per game...and a question is switched at could be better or worse.

Sounds simple, right? Here is where it gets real cringe-worthy for me. The first 6 questions are what I would call moral dilemmas. Example: "Have you hit a car and not left a note?" Ok, not so bad. But it gets worse. Questions included: "Have you delayed having children because you don’t believe your spouse will be your lifelong partner?" or "Have you checked a man’s privates out in the shower?"

And we haven’t gotten to the real nasty ones yet. What bothers me is that the show’s concept is simple...what will a person do and what will a person say for $500,000? I mean, is ANYTHING fair game here? Could you even get away with questions like: Do you believe that white people are smarter than people of color? Do you think all Muslims are terrorists? Have you given a partner a sexually transmitted disease? That really sickens me if that's true. Because there was a show that challenged America to look at itself, and did a much better job at it.. It was called "Without Prejudice"on GSN. Dr. Robi Ludwig made a panel of 5 people look at themselves and decide who they could give $25,000 to. This was raw, beautifully emotional TV. "Moment of Truth" is exploitative crap.

What I wonder is, why do these people go on? Are people that desperate for cash that they are willing to expose all their dirty laundry on national TV. No wonder why Jerry Springer hosted this in the UK. This show is basically Jerry Springer: The Game Show. Mark L. Walberg reminded me of a smarmy Maury Povich before the girl who is on there for the 20th time still can’t find out who her baby daddy is. Everything about this show is wrong. The concept, the execution, and the morality. I feel very sad for the people who like this show. Because when I watch a game show, I want to root for someone. None of the contestants make me want to root for them. I pity them. I feel sorry for them, because they are willing to sell their souls, marriages and relationships for $500,000. To quote Ted Dibiase, "Everybody’s got a price...everybody’s gonna pay." This show is a big fat F for Foul. Although this show is a big Fat F for Foul in my opinion, Fox is seeing a lot of big fat ratings. So much so in fact, that according to, Fox has already renewed the "Moment of Truth" for 13 more episodes.

And in a related story which you file under the “You have to be freaking kidding me” section of the program, two celebrities have been attached to “The Moment of Truth”.

According to, creator and executive producer Howard Schultz has written a letter to Roger Clemens, to see if he would clear his name on the show and set the record straight about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. Schultz said that he is offering the opportunity to a) clear his name and b) have any money Clemens would win donated to charity.

On the other hand, in a move which sends my ick factor to 11, Drew Peterson, the prime suspect in his fourth wife Stacy’s disappearance has asked to appear on the show so that the producers can administer a lie detector test on TV to prove his innocence. He is also in trouble, because his third wife died under
mysterious circumstances.

Let me comment on both here. First off, you have to give Schultz credit. This is a pure publicity stunt and Clemens would never do it, especially with the accuracy rate of a lie detector at 80-90%. 

As for Mr. Peterson. He has been a publicity seeker since the moment his wife disappeared. And most recently a radio station got in trouble for offering him a “Win A Date with Drew Peterson” contest. This is the same network that got into hot water for trying to publicize the ill-fated O.J. Simpson book called... “If I Did It”. There is no way that Fox will allow Petersen within 100 miles from that studio because a) it’s an unsolved crime and I believe that is the line that Fox will not cross, especially with the Colombia incident, and b) since the accuracy rate is not that high, people can beat the test and polygraph test are usually inadmissible in a court of law, and although this will serve Peterson’s purpose, it won't serve justice's purpose.

Mr. Schultz, a bit of free advice. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t answer the emails. Don’t open the mail. Stay far far away from him. Please.

My prediction of a quick ending to the long writers strike hit a bit of a snag this week. According to and Daily Variety, the leaders of the Screen Actors Guild sent an email message on Tuesday to members expressing strong reservations about the contract signed last week by the Screen Directors
Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. President Alan Rosenberg and Executive Director Doug Allen wrote, "Some have rushed to anoint their deal as the 'solution' for the entertainment industry. We believe that assessment is premature." The two acknowledged that they had only seen a press release containing information about the deal between the directors and studios and not the contract itself, but nevertheless warned, "Because so much of the new DGA/AMPTP deal is unknown, no one should assume this new deal is a template for anyone else, certainly not for actors." Their message immediately drew fire from Directors Guild President Michael Apted, who charged, in effect, that the SAG leaders were jumping the gun by commenting on a deal before they learned its full details. Apted asked why they felt it necessary to comment on it at this time. "They are not in negotiations and have not scheduled any," Apted told Daily Variety. "Their letter has one purpose and one purpose only: to interfere with the informal talks currently under way between the WGA and the studios. Simply put, their assumptions and arguments are specious. The DGA deal is a great deal for our members."

There has been breaking news as of Friday morning. Roger Friedman of reported that on the Web site, several big name writers have suddenly emerged with calls to arms. He states that they don’t want a quick settlement and question the DGA terms. John McNamara, a TV producer/writer who’s got lots of credits, writes:

“On January 14th, my overall deal at CBS/Paramount was terminated. …I should be writing to you gentlemen begging you to take the DGA deal. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm writing to urge you — don't settle for anything less than the best deal possible.” Friedman continues, " is obviously taking its cues from the union leadership, which means that the two sides are far apart. Not only that, but the enthusiastic introduction of WGA chief Patric Verrone at the televised SAG Awards last Sunday was like the time Jack was seen playing football with The Others on “Lost”: it sent a strong and obvious message: the actors are with the writers."

Sounds like the DGA and the SAG are having a bit of a power play. With the writers and actors unions being historically close, this could be the start of either a long power play or just union posturing. We will have to wait and see.

Another dumb thing that happened this week was the good news/bad news for Drew Carey. CBS yanked the Power of 10 from it’s schedule, but is putting 6 prime-time Price is Right episodes on in the Friday 8PM slot starting February 22.

The good news...we get to see Drew in Prime Time Price. This will expose Drew’s work on Price to a wider audience. And with the ratings of 1 v. 100 sliding, this is a perfect place for it.

However, the bad in the blue hell do you not pair up Price with Power of 10. This is stupidity of the highest order. No one wants to see Ghost Whisperer at 9. Power of 10 got smacked upside the head going up against Deal or No Deal. And then when American Idol came back, that was a double uppercut. Yanking it off the schedule, showed little faith in the show. I am sorry. Putting it in that slot wasn’t helpful either. I hope Power of 10 comes back sooner rather than later. This was a solid show that deserved a better fate than it got.

Shows that have had better fates this week are “Survivor”, “The Apprentice” and “Merv Griffin’s Crosswords.” They have all been renewed for new seasons. Let me deal with “Crosswords” first. The show itself has been averaging under a 1.0 the entire run, and the reason for it’s renewal is two-fold. It’s cheap to produce and there isn’t anything better out there...especially in the strike climate.

In my opinion, this will be the 2nd and last season of Crosswords. With the Fall 2008 syndication premieres of “Trivial Pursuit” and “Deal or No Deal”, and with the tight time slots, Crosswords will have a tough time surviving past season 2.

A show that is surviving is, well, “Survivor.” With Jeff Probst back at the helm for another two editions, the ratings continuing to hold steady in the coveted 18-49 demographic, and an anticipated fans v. favorites edition soon to start–the future looks bright for Mark Burnett.

Burnett has another thing to be happy about. “The Apprentice” has come back so far back from the has been renewed for two cycles. “Celebrity Apprentice” has recharged the Burnett show, and in a smart move by NBC the next Apprentice will not debut until January 2009. The reason why The Apprentice
burned out was overexposure and overcommercialization. This will keep the show fresh.

Finally, yet another American Idol story. But this one has a New York spin to it. What happens when you either win American Idol, or place in the top 12? You star on Broadway, of course! Clay Aiken is now on Broadway as Sir Robin in “Spamalot.” But he isn’t the first. Diana DeGarmo did “Hairspray”. Fantasia Barrino did the Color Purple (but was roundly criticized for missing a lot of performances), as well as Lakisha Jones who is there now. Constantine Maroulis starred in “The Wedding Singer.” I think it’s pretty cool that American Idol has been able to let people showcase their talents in one of the toughest environs of them all--Live musical theater. Anybody you think would be great on Broadway and in what show? Email me and tell me. You might get a shout out in next week’s podcast.

That will do it for this time around. We are full on into February sweeps...what will that have in store for us? You will have to come back next week and find out. For The Block Party, this is Jason Block saying...don’t just play to win.

Jason Block can be seen in his one-man off-Broadway show, "Blockbuster". E-mail him at