OK, when I said that the "top whatever" format for reality shows was getting a little played out, I wasn't actually looking for proof. But now I've got it: According to Variety, the TV Guide Channel is looking for "America's Next Producer." Can we officially say the idea well is dry?
Of course, a show about producers must start with producers, and in this case, it's Magical Elves, the company that brought us "Project Runway." My first impulse is to be sad they're focusing on this while some other company makes a mess of "Top Design." My next thought: Why would a bunch of producers think their day-to-day jobs make for good TV? After all, aren't they behind the scenes for a reason?
But that's only the beginning of the problems with this idea, so
There's also the whole issue of the show being on the TV Guide Channel. Yes, that's the channel that scrolls TV listings 24/7. It's not a channel you watch. It's a channel that tells you what else to watch. When I click over to it, I want to know what's coming up on channel 43, and if they've already scrolled past 43, I'm certainly not going to sit there and watch a show. (OK, maybe I'll watch Joan and Melissa Rivers be catty on the red carpet from time to time, but that's an isolated event, not a 10-hour serialized program.)
Sure, they're doing the "throw 10 wacky contestants in a house and let them bicker" trick, which can be amusing, even though we've seen it approximately 10,000 times. But I can't imagine the challenges being anything but a snooze. One proposed competition involves giving the producers $20,000 to make a tape of a show they're pitching. I think I almost fell asleep typing that.
And then there's the prize: A development deal with ... the TV Guide Channel. Yes, I'm sure that's exactly where all of America's top aspiring producers dream of placing their shows. Forget ABC, Bravo, or even VH1 Classic: I'm gunning for the Guide, baby!