Meredith C. Carroll: Surreality TV: It’s pilot season
Spring is around the corner, which means television pilot season – the time each year when networks produce sample episodes of potential new shows to be considered for development into full series – is upon us.With “American Idol” still dominating virtually all competition in the ratings its sixth season, producers are scrambling for additional reality-based productions. New shows already assigned time slots include “The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll,” in which the burlesque-performing, Grammy-nominated pop singing group has kitten-wannabes competing in feline-ish tasks for the ultimate chance to share some stage time with six other women. Also greenlit is a program produced by Steven Spielberg, “On the Lot,” where contestants vie for a $1 million development deal with Dreamworks. The TV Guide Channel is looking for competitors with a desire to take charge on set in its new reality series, “America’s Next Producer.”New shows under consideration for full-season pick-ups include:
Co-hosted by Melanie Griffith and Carrie Fisher, celebrity offspring and siblings like Rumer Willis (eldest daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis), Lourdes Leon (Madonna’s firstborn), Ali Lohan (Lindsay’s little sister), Jamie-Lynn Spears (Britney’s sis’), Barron and Conrad Hilton (brothers of Paris and Nicky) and little Dannielynn (daughter of a father to be named later and Anna Nicole Smith) will face-off in competitions like Have Your Virginity Taken by Someone Who Immediately Goes and Sells the Whole Story (Including Video) to the Tabloids for a Six-Figure Sum, Who Can Get the Most Blind Item Mentions in the Gossip Pages, and Try Not to Get Caught Snorting Lines in the Bathroom of a Club Where You Were Too Young to be Admitted, Anyway.Winners are guaranteed lifetime passes to posh rehab facilities on the East and West coasts, promises to have their names mentioned anytime the phrases “D-list,” “poor thing” and “has-been” are uttered on any of the numerous countdown shows on VH1 and the E! Network, and a 24/7 suicide-watch guardian (who will also carry their shopping bags, retrieve their luxury SUVs from the valet during outings, and pretend to try and shoo them away from the paparazzi while strolling down the red carpet at premieres of movies in which they did not appear).’Dive Bar Star’From creators Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller. Host Kathie Lee Gifford challenges contestants to dress in drag, sing cabaret in biker bars and then attempt to escape unharmed. Additional tasks include figuring out what doctor will treat chronic heartburn brought on by a steady diet of Buffalo wings and Miller Lite, with no health insurance and a life savings of $11.72 in pennies and nickels.
The final competition is to make rent on time for one month with no means of support other than the loose change, dirty napkins, dollar bills and peanut shells thrown into the guitar case perched on the edge of the makeshift stage. The winner picks up a case of blank CDs (labels included), a box of padded envelopes and a roll of stamps to mail out demos to radio stations and record companies, who will promptly throw away the packages unopened.’America’s Next Top Stripper'(See “The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll,” above)’My Super Sweet Sixtieth’
Mickey Rourke and Joan Rivers host this show in which baby boomers race to complete as many plastic surgery procedures before their 60th birthdays as leading Beverly Hills and New York cosmetic surgeons can schedule. Contestants vie for the quickest healing time and the maximum compliments on their youthful appearances. The contender with the most operations, the least scarring and the smallest range of facial expressions wins the chance to have AARP permanently remove their name from all mailing lists and the right to wear age-inappropriate clothing for another five years.’Guess the Closeted Gay Scientologist(s)’Former “husband and wife” Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley reunite to host this “Newlywed Game”-type show in which celebrity Scientologists Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Leah Remini, Beck and Isaac Hayes answer probing questions about the anatomy of the opposite sex, including those of their “spouses” and “partners.” During the final round, contestants try to accurately guess who among them would have legitimate show business careers if not for their famous acquaintances. Scientology hopefuls Victoria and David Beckham and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony appear in the finale as special guest judges.Aspen resident Meredith C. Carroll writes a Friday column. E-mail questions or comments to email@example.com.
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