As the writers' strike rolls on, networks are turning to more and more reality series to keep primetime feeling fresh. So far, the strategy seems to be working: In general, viewers are embracing reality shows, with American Gladiators having one of the best premieres this season and other series, including The Biggest Loser, getting great ratings.
So it shouldn't be surprising that there's even more reality coming our way. CBS announced three of its upcoming reality series today, and they're getting closer and closer to the faux programs 30 Rock's Jack Donaghy supposedly bought for NBC. No, there's no Are You Stronger than a Dog — but these series aren't far from it. To see what they are, just
- Secret Talents of the Stars — CBS claims this show will "uncover some of the most fascinating and unique secret talents of your favorite film and television stars, whether it be singing, dancing, magic or even acrobatics." Viewers' votes will determine who stays and who goes. Sure, I want to know Jennifer Aniston's hidden talents as much as the next girl, but I'm guessing these "stars" will be more along the lines of, say, The Celebrity Apprentice roster.
- Game Show In My Head — Ashton Kutcher's return to reality TV after the flop of The Real Wedding Crashers will send contestants out into the city wearing an earpiece that delivers instructions to perform ridiculous, embarrassing tasks in public. Contestants earn money for each task they perform, but they'll lose it all if they fail to adequately complete any of the tasks. I have to give this one the prize for best title.
- America's Top Dog — Now this one would make Jack Donaghy proud. It's exactly what you'd imagine it to be: Dogs and their owners live in a house together and "battle it out in a dog competition that puts the dog's relationship with the person who has raised and trained it to the test." Hey, did anyone else ever watch That's My Dog! on the Family Channel back in the early '90s? I can't deny that it was fun . . . when I was 11 years old.
Would you watch any of those reality shows? And, in general, have you been watching any of the networks' new reality fare — or are you just keeping the TV off these days?