start this week with a lot of love-related news in the TV world. We
first start with the controversial news that CBS has greenlit a
reality series based on the concept of arranged marriage.
yahoo.com and the Hollywood Reporter, the producers of "Top Chef"
(Magical Elves) have produced a series that puts lovelorn singles
into arranged marriages. The working title is “Arranged Marriage.”
The show concept
introduces four adults in the 25‑45 age range who are eager to get
married but have been unsuccessful in their search for a mate. Their
friends and family select a spouse for them, and the newly paired
couple exchange marital vows. The series follows their marriages.
It is the second
new series greenlit by CBS' new reality chief, Jennifer Bresnan,
after the recent order for "Block Party," a competition among
CBS is no stranger
to reality controversy with the Fall 2007 reality show “Kid Nation”,
where kids ran a western town.
This is not the
first time we have seen an “Arranged Marriage” like series. One of
the worst reality series of all time “Married by America” debuted on
Fox in 2003. In that case couples were paired by viewers voting from
home and then sequestered in a hotel to learn more about each
other...and no one got married. On the radio, WPLJ-FM in New York
tried this a few years ago on Valentine’s Day where two strangers
who never met were “married” by Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill
and tried to have it work out. It didn’t.
CBS is claiming
these couples will be married. In my opinion, this is a publicity
grab by the folks at CBS. And yes, the conservative outcry will be
huge. And people will watch...at the least first episode. I don’t
see good things coming out of this.
Going from arranged
marriages...to Newlyweds. We have news regarding the new Michael
Davies’s production of the Newlywed Game. First, we have a new host.
And it’s the first female host in the show’s history. Carnie Wilson,
the daughter of Brian Wilson and member of Wilson Phillips will
"I've always loved
game shows," said the 40‑year‑old Wilson, "My personality and energy
is perfect for something like this. First of all, I'm married, and I
loved watching 'The Newlywed Game' when I was younger. I watched it
all the time. I always hoped the couples would start fighting."
And to further
this, I attended the first taping session this past week. This is
what I can disclose:
–The front game is
pretty much the same, except that there are three couples instead of
four. The prize they are going for is a second honeymoon. The other
contestant teams get a cooking.com gift certificate. Also, there is
a corporate presence from eharmony.com.
–The set is
excellent. Behind the couples are plasmas which show the newlywed in
“photo booth” style poses. Nice touch. And keeping with the Davies
theme, we have a combination of neon on the outside, with wood grain
on the panels with love seats. Warm and inviting.
–The bonus round
pits the winning team against “Goldyweds”–a couple who went on the
original Newlywed Game and are still married. The winning team gets
a bonus prize.
From what I saw,
Carnie Wilson has a huge upside...she is a ball of fire even being 5
months pregnant. She has a good off the cuff relationship with the
contestants. She will get better as the tapings progress. And I
think this show is going to be a hit. I really do. Watch for it
April 6th on GSN.
To finish the love
theme, we are in the Valentine’s Day season, and people are
overpaying for flowers, cards, chocolates, perfume, lingerie and
jewelry which they could get much cheaper on February 15. But I
ask...why do most relationship/dating shows not produce long term
happy relationships? And why do these shows still stay on the air?
success for TV based dating shows is rare. You do see a few happy
endings to the fairy tale. Rob and Amber from the Amazing Race.
Trista and Ryan are still married. But for everyone of these
successes, you have Momma’s Boys, most of the Bachelors, pretty much
every VH1 dating series and tons of others just flame out.
The reason why you
have so many reality dating shows on the air is that for the most
part, we as viewers are closet romantics. Everyone wants to see
love, or in some cases lust, happen. Most of the dating shows on
TV...going back as far as the Dating Game to Love Connection, to the
more recent examples of “Shot of Love”, “Flavor of Love”, and “Rock
of Love” give the fantasy that you can find true love through a
casting agency on TV. It rarely happens, but it is the perception.
To answer the 1st
question....a lot of the people who appear on dating shows suffer
from PPS...Pretty People Syndrome. The producers edit the shows as a
competition instead of a organic relationship. Love is never easy,
and it really is hard when you force affections down people’s throat
in front of a 24‑7 TV crew. I believe these shows make men and women
look very shallow and treat love as a sport.
I believe, and know
from first hand experience that the “faux” love you see on
TV....isn’t. Love is what people experience every day when cameras
aren’t on the air. Relationships are hard work, and when you try and
find it on TV...it just won’t happen.
Thought the SAG
labor troubles were just about over? Think again. According to
Richard Verrier of the Los Angeles Times, Screen Actors Guild
President Alan Rosenberg has launched a legal challenge to the
legitimacy of the union's newly appointed leadership. Rosenberg and
Anne‑Marie Johnson, the union's first vice president, notified SAG
on Monday of their intent to file a lawsuit seeking to reinstate
Doug Allen as the union's chief negotiator and to reconstitute the
guild's former negotiating committee, people close to the union
said. They also maintain that the board's action was unwarranted and
"undemocratic." The SAG leaders contend that the board's vote, which
occurred by means of a "written assent," violated California's
corporate code and should thus be nullified.
The union leaders
also are seeking an injunction that would block the new negotiating
team from moving ahead with contract talks. Although the legal
challenge is considered a long shot, it could delay the talks for at
least a week, people close to the negotiations say.
In my opinion, this
is a last ditch effort by the Strike at all Costs wing to try to
exercise their power in the Union. The actors have been working
without a contract for over 7 months now. They need a deal now and
let the moderate wing take control and get a deal done. Let it go.
Finally, I got a
few requests for information on the new Nickelodeon Show “Brain
Surge”. This description from On-Camera Audiences sounds
interesting... “BrainSurge is Nickelodeon's new kids game show where
contestants will be put through four levels of games and puzzles
that test their memory and comprehension skills. From puzzles that
test their quick eye and reflexes to funny stories that test their
ability to pay attention, as well as concentration games where
making a perfect match can mean advancing to the next level.
is like participating as the audience is able to play along with all
of the puzzles and stories and matching games. Winners from each
round move on while those who don't qualify for the next level go
down the BRAIN DRAIN to get SLIMED.”
Sounds like fun.
They are taping on February 16th and 17th.
Check it out at http://ocatv.com/shows/show/244
–Condolences go out
to the family of Clint Ritchie of One Life to Live, who died this
week at 70.
becomes the Spokesman from Adult ADHD in the “Adult ADD is Real”
–Donny Osmond is
definitely NOT doing Dancing with the Stars this season...but might
want to do it in the Fall. If you want to know who is...watch Sunday
February 8th on ABC.
–Billy the Elephant
is staying in the LA Zoo and Bob Barker “was terribly disappointed”
in the decision of the LA City Council.
–Former New York
Giant Michael Strahan and Fox Sports’s Jay Glazer host “Pros v. Joes
4: All-Stars” on Spike.
–Carmen Rasmusen from
Season 2 of American Idol, welcomes her first son, Boston.
–Simon Fuller and 19
Entertainment is shopping the format of “Now That’s What I Call Music”
–Dan Clark of
American Gladiators writes a tell all book.
wants to lead a campaign to help British kids improve their math
skills by improving the quality of British Math Teachers.
–Vanna White was in
Jamaica to tape some segments for Wheel’s Sandals Resorts week.
–Ben Stein’s speaking
engagement at the University of Vermont Graduation ceremony gets
cancelled because of his views on religion (he supports Intelligent
Design) and how evolution led to eugenics
–Tiffany “New York”
Pollard is part of an all-black troupe of “The Vagina Monologues”.
fantastic version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is now on iTunes.
–Power of 10 arrives
on UK cellphones.
“Wipeout” and “Fear Factor” to Middle Eastern Markets.
–Can You Duet gets a
season 2 and casting calls for CMT.
–And Vivica Fox signs
onto “The Cougar”...a TV Land production where an accomplished,
beautiful and sexy woman hunts for love from a pool of eligible
younger men. This is a Mike Fleiss Production.
Jason Block was
also born on February 14. Wish him a happy one at