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Fox Goes Ape S(^_^) - January 11

I really shouldn't be shocked to see promotions for "Skating with Celebrities" on FOX. That is to say, I'm not surprised that FOX completely aped a format that's doing well for another network and decide to use it for their own gain. If you don't believe me, consider the following:

FOX tried to create their own "nasty" version of Millionaire, and we got "Greed". It got people talking, and it was good watching for a high school kid who had nowhere to go on a Friday night, but going to air 17 days after creating the format meant several things were not tied up, from music cues to more serious things, like how to deal with the jackpot question. What's that about piss-poor planning? It could have lasted longer, but it didn't. They had another go of it with "It's Your Chance of a Lifetime." If you can imagine "Millionaire" but with betting, you're 9/10ths of the way there. Neat idea, but five shows and out isn't a great showing.

FOX has certainly shown a propensity for ganking an idea, tweaking it a little bit, rushing it to air, and then catching holy hell for doing it wrong. "The Chamber" had a nifty premise, but their pissing match with ABC meant one of the shortest runs in game show history. Perhaps that's not a bad thing.

They did have better luck with "Trading Spouses," but really the only change from "Wife Swap" was the addition of prize money and expanding each 'round' from one episode to two. That and having more extreme matches.

"The Rebel Billionaire" was a not so thinly veiled takeoff on "The Apprentice," and "Joe Millionaire" a dig on all of the recent dating shows. And of course, there's "Idol," but once you get into ratings that reach the stratosphere, I guess we don't get to poke fun anymore.

I'm forced to come to the not-so-startling conclusion that the FOX Network couldn't come up with an original idea if (fill in the cliche here)? Are we really that hard up for entertainment these days that we'll accept a knock-off of a successful show?

I'll give FOX credit where it's due: they've had their fair share of original programming ideas that took off: "House," "X-Files" and "That 70s Show" (even if I despise the last entry). Their first breakout hit, "Married...with Children" would certainly qualify as original as well. So, given that FOX has shown that they can create original programs, why are they falling back on the creations of others so recently? Let's remember that TV is about entertainment second, and money first. Sure, we'd like it to be otherwise, but it's just not so. If FOX can draw eyeballs with their own twist on a previously done show, there's no reason for them to not go that way.

Enjoy "Skating with Celebrities" if you want. I'm sure FOX's core audience will stick it out, laugh at D-level stars falling all over themselves, and it'll get renewed next year. I won't be there.

Travis Eberle still hasn't gotten over the cancellation of Greed, even if the game bit. Console him at


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