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.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Sizzling New Summer Series from Fox: 

The A.C.

Southern California air-conditioning magnate Ace Connor tries to keep his cool amid the antics of his troublesome brood; his hottie second wife (is she as wayward as she is willfull?); his prodigal oldest son, back from who knows where for who knows how long; the hot-tempered younger son, resentful at being pushed aside and slavishly devoted to; his embittered mother, as cold as the ice in her ever-present highball, she seeks comfort in booze, boy toys and plots of revenge; and, the smoking-hot step-daughter — are her wanton ways her way of venting or is she a cold-blooded schemer after Ace's cool millions?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

They're Just Upset that Jesus' Descendants Would be French 

From the New York Times, April 27, 2004:

Defenders of Christianity Rebut 'The Da Vinci Code'

Fearing that the best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" may be sowing doubt about basic Christian beliefs, a host of Christian churches, clergy members and Bible scholars are rushing to rebut it.

Readers have bought more than six million copies of the book, a historical thriller that claims Christianity was founded on a cover-up — that the church has conspired for centuries to hide evidence that Jesus was a mere mortal, married Mary Magdalene and had children whose descendants live in France.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Only if by "Compassionate" She Means that He's Sleeping on the Couch and Buying Her Expensive Presents to Make Up for Having Been Such an Asshole 

Shriver: Schwarzenegger 'more compassionate'

Maria Shriver says that hubby Arnold Schwarzenegger, who faced accusations of sexual misconduct with women during his campaign, is "more compassionate and considerate than he has ever been" according to a CNN story today.

If He'd Lived Long Enough, He'd Have Also Invented Cupholders, Airbags and Fuzzy Dice 

The DaVinci Car

Five centuries after his death scientists have figured out Leonardo da Vinci's design for an automobile and finally built it.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Iraqi Sovereignty to be Auctioned off on eBay 

WASHINGTON, DC (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) In a move that surprised many Beltway insiders, the Bush administration announced today that it is selling the sovereignty of Iraq on eBay®.

"In the absence of any viable, willing or, for that matter, even particularly interested, entity to whom we could hand over the sovereignty of Iraq on the June 30 deadline," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan, "The decision was made to let the free market resolve this problem and to just sell the place to the highest bidder."

"It has long been the philosophy of this president and this administration to let the private sector handle situations that government has no business meddling in," continued McClellan, "And, we believe that rebuilding a nation's infrastructure and establishing in it for the first time a judicial system and representative democracy that reflects the will of its citizens is exactly that kind of situation."

The eBay listing, which will be posted on May 1 and is scheduled to end on the handover date, reads in part: "Fixer-Upper with great potential for rebuilding or resale! Semi-industrialized. Semi-secular. Location, location, location. Energetic populace. Could be broken up into three or four smaller sovereignties. Oil rights not included. May or may not have advanced weaponry someplace."

In a section of the web page that addresses why the United States is auctioning off Iraq rather than taking advantage of what it has described as such a good deal, the text says that "...We are selling this country's sovereignty at this time because we've already occupied another country that we're not done with, yet, and we just don't have the time or resources to devote to liberating and rebuilding both at once."

McClellan would not respond to questions about whether bidders with zero or negative feedback from previous eBay auctions would be automatically disqualified, saying only that, "This is a No Reserve auction and the highest bidder wins. 10% deposit mailed or paypal within 3 days of bid closing. Remainder of funds due upon buyer inspection and acceptance of terms. Cashiers checks and money orders only please. No personal checks. No warranty. Property is sold as is."

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Had Been Only a Shell of His Former Self for Decades, Say Friends 

Timmy the tortoise, who was a ship's mascot in the Crimean War, has died at the age of 160.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Hollywood Raises Heck 

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) In anticipation of the strict new "decency" codes that industry insiders expect to see enforced within the next few months, producers of the TV spinoff of the hit movie "Hellboy" have announced that the title of the series and its main character will be renamed "Heckboy."

"Why take chances?" is how Joseph P. Manley, head of the production company behind "Heckboy" puts it. "If we don't do it now, we'll just have to do it later when whichever spineless network we sell the show to makes us. Besides, if we wait and do it after the fact, we'll have all the extra costs of redubbing, redoing the logo and all the advertising and collateral materials. This way, we save ourselves the grief and the money right up front," Manley continued, "On the plus side, it'll lower the age of our target audience, making "Heckboy" plush toys a real marketing possibility. So, it's not a total loss, really."

All of tinseltown is working overtime to be ready when the decency hits the fan. Classic films are being "adjusted" by such title changes as "To Heck and Back," "Heck is for Heroes," "The Heckfighters," "Hecko Dolly" and "Hepcats of the Navy."

Additionally, the WB Network has announced that when its show "7th Heaven" goes into syndication on PAX TV, it will be retitled "Heaven" because, as a PAX network executive explained, "Every right-thinking Christian knows there is only one heaven, and even entertaining the notion that there is more than one, much less seven, is not only just flat-out wrong, but deeply and hurtfully offensive."

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