Friday, April 30, 2004

Don't Touch That Dial! 

The most shocking thing (to me, anyway) about the reality/game show "Be My Baby", where Barbara Walters hosts a contest in which childless couples vie for the offspring of a 16-year-old unwed mother, is that it's not on Fox. It's on ABC. Which is owned by Disney. Disney! Out-Foxed by DISNEY!?! Somebody at Fox got fired over that one.

Still, like it or not, this is just the first glimpse of the coming new low. Below, some suggestions on hastening the apocalypse and just getting it over with, already.

Reality/game shows in development:

Coma to My House (ABC/Disney)
Dozens of dwarves compete to be one of the Final Seven who get to kiss a beautiful young woman who is either comatose or just a really deep sleeper. The one whose kiss awakens her gets to marry her on TV. Whether she likes it or not. Her parents signed a waiver.

Touched by a Jackson (Fox)
Parents of young boys (6 to 9) perform wacky stunts for the chance to have their little money maker spend time with a member of the Jackson clan. Winners' spawn stay overnight at Neverland Ranch, runners-up go to Chuck-E Cheese with Tito.

Gepetto Your Life (ABC/Disney)
Wooden marionettes compete for the prize of being transformed into a real boy.

Where There's a Will (Fox)
Potential heirs to a dying multi-millionare's fortune will do anything — and we mean anything — he demands of them if it gets them into his will. This being Fox, however, there's every chance that he's not really dying or that he's not even really a multi-millionare.

Mayan So-Called Life (WB)
Contestants battle each other for the privilege of being chosen to live like a celebrity — mansion in the Hollywood Hills, fancy cars, hobnobbing with the hoi-poloi, all the sex partners of their choosing, a makeover; their wishes are our commands, FREE — for a year (from this Cinco de Mayo to next Cinco de Mayo) before having their still-beating heart cut out of their chest in a televised ritual sacrifice. Co-sponsored by Corona and Taco Bell.

Lottery of a Lifetime (Court TV)
Towns across American compete to host this unscripted enactment of Shirley Jackson's chilling cautionary tale "The Lottery". After a town is decided upon, its inhabitants pick their preferred form of mob violence (stoning, lynching, beating and kicking), then TV viewers phone in their choice of lottery method (short stick, drawn straws, rock-paper-scissors). Once a citizen of the town is picked, the fun begins! Don't miss the thrilling season finale!

The Egg & I (The Learning Channel)
Orthroscopic camerawork captures the seminal drama of millions of sperm racing to fertilize an egg in this once-in-a-lifetime program.

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