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Summers guilty pleasures

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NBC Sets Summer Premieres
Returnees 'Last Comic,' 'Talent' join newbie 'Age of Love'

April 12, 2007

Bill Bellamy

NBC will bank on a set of returning shows, and one top-secret newcomer, to keep viewers around over the summer.

Starting right after Memorial Day, NBC will launch a summertime schedule that includes new seasons of "America's Got Talent" and "Last Comic Standing," with a dating show called "Age of Love" arriving for mid-June. The network will eventually have original programming on three nights of the week.

"The Biggest Loser" will also get a late-summer premiere, although an exact date hasn't been set.

"We have a strong hand to play this summer season with a proven stable of winning series from past summers," says Craig Plestis, head of alternative programming for NBC. "Each returning show will have a fresh look with new hosts, and the competitions on 'America's Got Talent,' 'Last Comic' and 'Biggest Loser' will be even bigger and better than before. Likewise, we like what we see with the new 'Age of Love,' which could prove to be the breakout hit of the summer."

"America's Got Talent" will be first out of the gate with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, May 29, and will move to 8 p.m. Tuesdays the following week. New host Jerry Springer will lead viewers in the search for the country's next great stage act, be they singers, dancers, jugglers or what have you.

The show's performance episodes averaged 11 million viewers last year. Results shows didn't do quite as well but still pulled in a respectable 8.7 million viewers each time out.

The fifth edition of "Last Comic Standing," with new host Bill Bellamy, premieres Wednesday, June 13. The show has broadened its search for undiscovered comic talent and will feature comedians from Canada, England and Australia as well as the United States. The show drew 8.1 million viewers a week last year.

NBC is keeping details about "Age of Love" under wraps. We know it's a dating show, we know it's hosted by Mark Consuelos ("All My Children") and we know it premieres Monday, June 18.



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Fast Cars & Superstars Announced By ABC

Celebrities including Jewel, Tony Hawk, Serena Williams and William Shatner are dreaming of life in the fast lane, as they race to the finish in the new reality show, "Fast Cars & Superstars -- The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race," a seven-episode series to air on ABC primetime beginning THURSDAY, JUNE 7 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET). Twelve celebrity drivers will partner with the Gillette Young Guns - six of stock car racing's most talented and popular drivers - to learn what it takes to win on the race track.

The show will explore the interaction of top young stock car drivers with stars from the world of sports, music and entertainment, featuring drama and competition on and off the race track. In each episode, viewers will watch celebrities train with a Gillette Young Guns driver. The show will culminate in a one-hour finale where the celebrities will be coached from the pits by their Gillette Young Guns instructors and compete against each other during a time-trial race.

"I jumped at the chance to be involved in the Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race," said actor William Shatner. "It's every American boy's dream to get behind the wheel of a stock car."

"Fast Cars & Superstars - The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race" will include six half-hour episodes with an hour-long finale. The series will be hosted by ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne and co-hosted by former Cleveland Cavaliers center and current ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty, and was co-created by BBDO and Gillette and produced by Radical Media.

"I hope these celebrities are ready to feel the real power of a stock car," said Jimmie Johnson, the reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion and member of the Gillette Young Guns. "We're all really excited to share our knowledge of competitive racing to coach these stars. We'll see who has what it takes to be the Champion."

"The thing that really excites me about competing in the race is that it brings together some of the best talent in their fields and gives them the opportunity to meet on a common ground," said Grammy Award nominee Jewel. "And I love the chance to compete against guys!"

Celebrity Drivers will be singer Jewel, actor William Shatner, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, actress Krista Allen, seven-time World All-Around Rodeo Champion Ty Murray, former NBA Champion John Salley, former NFL Super Bowl Champion John Elway, World Wrestling Entertainment Champion John Cena, tennis star Serena Williams, volleyball great and model Gabrielle Reece, legendary surfer Laird Hamilton and former NFL Super Bowl-winning Head Coach Bill Cowher. Gillette Young Guns are Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.

Posted by Joe Reality on April 17, 2007 at 12:11 AM


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CBS Uncages 'Creature Comforts' in June
Animated series will air on Monday nights

April 18, 2007

'Creature Comforts'

The American version of the Aardman Animation smash "Creature Comforts" will finally have its premiere this summer on CBS.

The network announced on Wednesday (April 18) that "Creature Comforts" will premiere on Monday, June 4.

As was the case with the original British commercials, short film and ITV1 series, the American "Creature Comforts" will combine audio interviews with ordinary citizens with stop-motion animation of anthropomorphic animals.

Nick Park won an Oscar for the short film, long before the unique Aardman style became familiar to American audiences on films like "Chicken Run" and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit."

CBS has had "Creature Comforts" in development for some time. The network announced last February that the show was going into production on seven episodes, but due to the labor-intensive process, it was always intended for a midseason 2006-07 slot.

Booty Call: CBS' 'Pirate' Sets Sail in May
Some salty dog named Cameron Daddo will host, mateys

April 18, 2007

'Pirate Master' host Cameron Daddo


CBS has set a Thursday, May 31 premiere date for "Pirate Master," a summer reality series from "Survivor" mastermind Mark Burnett. The show will air through the summer on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET.


On "Pirate Master," 16 contestants will live aboard a 179-food, square-rigged barque. Over the course of 33 days, they'll live as buccaneers, traveling around a Caribbean island in search of a treasure totaling $1 million. Each episode will find the contestants gathering at Pirate's Court, where they'll state their case and somebody will be cut adrift.

"'Pirate Master' breaks new ground in that it's the collision of fantasy and reality," Burnett says. "This is a show where, in true pirate fashion, anything can happen with a group of people that live by their own set of rules and usually break them. It's adventure, excitement and loads of treasure. Anyone who ever wanted to be a pirate will love this show!"


The winner will be the first contestant to find the largest booty, a treasure worth $500,000.

With all of this emphasis on big booty, one might guess Sir Mix-a-Lot would be the perfect host. Instead, the host will be Australian actor Cameron Daddo, who may be familiar from films including "Big Mamma's House 2" and TV appearances on shows like "Boston Legal" and "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles."




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American Idol Producers Launch Search For The Next Great American Band

In all the drama of Lakisha Jones being eliminated from American Idol, it overshadowed a major announcement made by Ryan Seacrest during the show. American Idol producers are apparently launching a brand new reality show to search for the next great American band.

During the American Idol results show, Ryan Seacrest pointed out that Barry Gibb said that the four American Idol finalists should perform together as a group. Seacrest then said that was interesting because they were actually looking for a band. Seacrest then played a clip that said American Idol producers were looking for the best undiscovered group in America.

In the clip was an address where bands could send their DVDs and videos. The address was The Band Show Casting, 8391 Beverly Blvd, PMB #464, Los Angeles, CA 90048. On the official American Idol website there is more information that spells out that the band must have at least two members and include some form of musical instruments. Application and release forms along with detailed instructions on what should go in the band’s video are also on AmericanIdol.com.

The Band Show Casting



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NBC Tackles 'Age'-Old Question
Dating show puts guy between women in 20s, 40s

May 10, 2007

Mark Consuelos

The show is called "Age of Love," and until now NBC has kept its premise a secret. No more, though.

The dating show, which premieres Monday, June 18, will test the veracity of dozens of newspaper and magazine trend stories and see whether a guy in his early 30s will fall for an older woman -- when there are younger women available as well.

If you're a tennis fan, you may have heard of the guy in question: 31-year-old Mark Philippoussis, a one-time Wimbledon finalist whose love life has been tabloid fodder in his native Australia. Injuries have sidelined him for extended periods in recent years, but he's hoping to make a comeback on the men's tour this year.

In the show, a group of women in their 20s -- the "Kittens" -- will move into one floor of an L.A. high-rise. Another set of women in their 40s -- the "Cougars" -- will be on a higher floor, with Philippoussis in between. Philippoussis is initially unaware of the concept at first, knowing only that he's going to be on a dating show.

Host Mark Consuelos ("All My Children") will introduce him to the 40-something women first, with the women in their 20s joining the game a little later. Weekly eliminations will pare the field to the one woman Philippoussis likes the most.

"Age of Love" comes from "Biggest Loser" producer JD Roth, who says the idea sprung from conversations he's had with his wife's female friends.

"I always listen to what the wives are talking about because they're always reading every magazine, watching 'Oprah,'" he told reporters recently. "So they're all talking about how they could get a guy [who's] 25, no problem. They're all around 40. ...

"The next thing you know the conversation is about Ashton and Demi, and 'He really loves her. They have a connection. There's a chemistry there. It's not about age.' Then you see Katie Couric with a guy 20 years younger. When you start talking about what's going on in pop culture, you realize there is no age of love."



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Summer 2007 reality show debuts and schedule

Summer doesn’t officially begin for another month, but it’s time for summer reality shows to show up and romance us for the months when we’re trapped indoors by the stifling heat. After lingering spring reality shows conclude this week, we’ll see the return of a number of familiar summer flings—Big Brother, Hell’s Kitchen, Kathy Griffin, and many others—in addition to some fresh meat.

The following is a frequently updated list of noteworthy new and returning reality shows scheduled to air this summer whose networks have officially announced their debut dates and timeslots. Times are in ET; as always, check listings first, as networks change their minds frequently:

On the Lot [FOX, May 22 and 24 at 9; then Mondays at 9 and Tuesdays at 8]
The Academy [FOX Reality, May 24, Thursdays at 8]
The Next Best Thing [ABC, May 30, Wednesdays at 8]
Reunited: The Real World Las Vegas [MTV, May 30, Wednesdays at 10]
So You Think You Can Dance [FOX, May 24, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8]
The Simple Life 5 [E!, Monday, May 28, Sundays at 10]
America’s Got Talent [NBC, May 29 at 9, Tuesdays at 8]
Pirate Master [CBS, May 31, Thursdays at 8]
Hell’s Kitchen 3 [FOX, June 4, Mondays at 9]
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List [Bravo, June 5, Tuesdays at 10]
American Inventor 2 [ABC, June 6, Wednesdays at 9]
Top Chef 3 [Bravo, June 6, Wednesdays at 10]
Last Comic Standing 5 [NBC, June 13, Wednesdays at 9]
Age of Love [NBC, June 18, Mondays at 10]
Design Star 2 [HGTV, July 22 at 10, Sundays at 9]
Who Wants to be a Superhero 2 [SciFi, July 25, Wednesdays at 9]
Hey Paula [Bravo, summer]
The Biggest Loser 4 [NBC, late summer]

posted May. 21, 2007 at 4:00 PM



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Jim J. Bullock, Lil’ Flip, and Jeffree Star get their own reality shows

Three new reality shows are being developed around somewhat well-known personalities.

Actor and comedian Jim J. Bullock, of Too Close for Comfort and Hollywood Squares, will star in Beauty School Dropout, in which “he charts a second career as the would-be owner of a hair salon. Bullock will let cameras follow him as he matriculates in beauty school and applies for a license to manage a beauty shop,” Variety reports.

That show is produced by World of Wonder Productions, which is also producing Jeffree Star, a show that follows the “20-year-old cross-dresser with pink hair who has 550,000 friends on MySpace.” They’re also developing Allison Margolin: The Dopest Attorney in Town, which follows “a Los Angeles lawyer who specializes in medical-marijuana cases while working for her family’s practice, which includes her mother, stepfather and ex-stepfather.”

Rapper Lil’ Flip will lead The American Rapper, a competition series that “will follow contestants as Lil’ Flip teaches them the tricks of the trade including essentials like interviewing and networking skills,” AllHipHop.com reports. Lil’ Flip told the site, “A lot of these reality shows is kind of a mockery of Hip-Hop. With my show I’m gonna try to find a rapper, they get a two album deal, a chain and money. I’m teaching ‘em media training. How to handle interviews, what not to say and do. How to talk to people and network, how to run commercial spots, how to construct a song, attitudes.”

World of Wonders touts reality trio [Variety]
Lil’ Flip Working On New Reality Show ‘The American Rapper’ [AllHipHop.com]

posted May. 25, 2007 at 8:47 AM



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Got Game? Well, You're About To!

Starting Friday, Jeopardy! fans can log on to jeopardy.com (duh) to answer an extra question from one of that day's categories and be entered in a sweepstakes with a $100 daily prize and a $25,000 grand prize. Of course, unlike on the real show, here contestants are encouraged to google their answers.... Blind Date host Roger Lodge has been chosen to ringlead GSN's upcoming hidden-word game show Camouflage.... CBS has picked up a new game show called Do You Trust Me? from the producers of The Weakest Link. The Eye has also OK'd Drew Carey's Power of 10 quiz show.

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 05/29/07 8:56 AM



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'Set for Life' Finally Set for Air
ABC game show, 'Masters of Sci Fi' get premiere dates

June 6, 2007

Jimmy Kimmel

ABC is cleaning out its programming closet, giving summertime runs to a pair of projects that were initially scheduled to run last season.

The game show "Set for Life," which way back when was slated to air in the fall, will finally premiere on Friday, July 20. Two weeks after that, on Saturday, Aug. 4, the anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction" will hit the airwaves for a four-week run.

ABC has also scheduled a brief return for the plastic-surgery version of "Extreme Makeover" in July.

When ABC announced its 2006-07 schedule a year ago, it had "Set for Life" filling an hour on Tuesdays after the fall run of "Dancing with the Stars." Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the show offers contestants a chance to win a monthly check for the rest of their lives, ranging from a few bucks to thousands of dollars.

Instead, ABC marked time with holiday specials and "America's Funniest Home Videos" on Tuesdays until "Dancing" returned in the spring. It also tried another game show, the William Shatner-hosted "Show Me the Money," on Wednesday nights.

"Masters of Science Fiction," from the same producers of Showtime's "Masters of Horror," was initially considered for midseason. ABC ordered six episodes but now plans to air only four, in the TV dead zone of Saturdays at 10 p.m.

There's no word yet on which four installments will air. The hour-long shows feature adaptations of stories by the likes of Robert Heinlein, Harlan Ellison and Walter Mosley; actors taking part include Terry O'Quinn ("Lost"), John Hurt ("V for Vendetta"), Anne Heche ("Men in Trees"), Judy Davis ("The Starter Wife"), Sam Waterston ("Law & Order") and Malcolm McDowell ("Heroes").

"Extreme Makeover" will return for three weeks starting Monday, July 2. ABC aired one episode of the show in the fall, then pulled it after it recorded weak ratings.



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Drew Carey, Wayne Brady Game for Game Shows

Wayne Brady has been tapped to front Don't Forget the Lyrics!, a Fox game show premiering July 12 and asking contestants to complete the words to a song. Do right by 10 songs in a row, get a cool million dollars... CBS has set an August 7 premiere for Power of 10, a Family Feud-esque quiz show hosted by Drew Carey and produced by Millionaire's Michael Davies.... BET on July 9 will launch Take the Cake, a nightly interactive game show in which viewers can play along online or via text-messaging.

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 06/20/07 10:17 AM



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Stopped Motion: CBS Cuts Creature Comforts

CBS has pulled the Aardman-animated Creature Comforts from its schedule effective immediately, says Futon Critic, and for the time being, at least, will fill the Mondays-at-8 slot with even more repeats of The New Adventures of Old Christine.

After premiering to 6.3 million total viewers, Creature Comforts most recently was sampled by 4.66 and, just this past Monday, 4.3 million people.

Talk about your clay achin'!

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 06/22/07 4:36 PM



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The Singing Bee To Be Hosted By Joey Fatone

America's dancing dynamo and former *NSYNC star Joey Fatone ("Dancing with the Stars") hosts NBC's ultimate sing-along variety game show "The Singing Bee," which is set to premiere on Tuesday, July 10 (9:30-10 p.m. ET) following the 90-minute "Las Vegas Callbacks" episode of summer's #1 hit "America's Got Talent" (8-9:30 p.m. ET).

The announcement was made recently by Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment.

"This fun-filled family show is going to have viewers singing along with their TV sets," said Plestis. "Coupled with 'America's Got Talent,' we've got two great hours of TV that America can fall in love with every Tuesday night."

Added Plestis, "We are also thrilled to have Joey on board to host. He brings an added burst of energy and a legion of fans with his musical talent and infectious personality."

In "The Singing Bee," contestants will be challenged to accurately sing the lyrics to the most popular songs of all time in a variety of karaoke-style competitions. Each episode will begin with an audience-wide sing-along where eight lucky contestants will be chosen to compete in a series of fun-filled singing games. In this exciting singing showdown, there's no middle ground for partially correct answers -- contestants must be perfect or they're out of the game. Family-friendly and conducive to playing (and singing) along at home, "The Singing Bee" inspires hilarious wrong answers and amazing performances by those rare contestants who somehow manage to get every word right.

In addition, all music on the show will be performed by house band "Ray Chew and the Buzz" with "The Singing Bee" dancers, "The Honeybees."

Fatone, former member of the musical sensation *NSYNC, is a multi-talented "triple threat" most recently dancing his way to second place on "Dancing with the Stars." He has also appeared in multiple Broadway musicals including "Rent" and "Little Shop of Horrors," and the feature films "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "The Cooler."

"The Singing Bee" is created and produced by Juma Entertainment, LLC and The Gurin Company. The executive producers are Phil Gurin (NBC's "Miss Universe" franchise) and Robert C. Horowitz ("Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials Top 40 Countdown").

Posted by Joe Reality on June 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM



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Bravo Announces Returning and New Reality TV Series

Coming off a record-breaking second quarter, Bravo announced a slate of returning franchises and new series additions, as well as a network first – a live finale for "Top Chef 3 Miami." The remaining chef'testants, along with the viewers at home, will await the ultimate decision in real-time from this season's judges' table – host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, judge Gail Simmons, and "Queer Eye's" culinary expert Ted Allen. Additionally, Bravo announced plans for a fourth season of "Top Chef," which will shoot in a new culinary hotbed – Chicago – with casting currently underway. The announcements were made today by Frances Berwick, Executive Vice President Programming and Production, Bravo.

Bravo has a proven track record with creating addictive programming, boasting five shows with averages of more than one million total viewers for 2007 to date – "Top Chef 3 Miami" (2,069,000), "Shear Genius," (1,091,000) "Top Design" (1,152,000), "Real Housewives of Orange County," (1,189,000) and "Top Chef 2" (3,043,000). Comparatively, through the first half of 2006, only "Project Runway 2" (2,017,000) and the inaugural season of "Top Chef" (1,232,000) averaged more than one million total viewers.

Building upon the success of the network's originals, Bravo's new programming encompasses the signature programming groups: fashion, food, beauty, design and pop culture. "Our signature series continue to draw more viewers, with each season building upon the past for both our competition reality and docu-drama genres," said Berwick. "Our upcoming series' command the highest level of talent and originality making viewers want to watch what happens – ultimately driving our success."

Following are the new and returning reality TV programming announcements:


Bravo's culinary and ratings hit "Top Chef 3 Miami" will culminate its 14-episode run with a live finale as the remaining chef'testants' – along with the viewers at home – learn who will win the coveted title of "Top Chef." The strongest contenders remain, having chopped, broiled and sautéed their way to this telling hour. The ultimate decision in real-time is in the hands of this season's judges' table – Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author, actress and host; Tom Colicchio, celebrated culinary figure and co-founder of Craft Restaurants; judge Gail Simmons of Food & Wine; and "Queer Eye's" culinary expert Ted Allen.

TOP CHEF (Season 4)
Bravo has ordered a fourth season of its hit series "Top Chef," which will shoot in a new culinary city – Chicago. A nationwide casting call for season four begins this month in Atlanta, followed by stops in New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. For more information, interested candidates can log-on to BravoTV.com/casting.

Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Orange County" opens the gates to a third season. Back with all their bling are cast members Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough, Tammy Knickerbocker, Lauri Waring and new housewife, Tamra Barney. Their kids in tow this season include Kara, Colton, Shane, Megan, Lindsey, Michael, Briana, Ashley and Josh, to name a few. Watch what happens in this docu-soap that follows a group of women and their families, giving viewers a glimpse at their glamorous and very real lives in a picturesque Southern California gated community in Orange County. They each have their own personal story to share, and they've granted Bravo an all-access pass into their lives, families, friendships, careers and homes. The women take viewers along for the ride and into their real-life dramas that show how life isn't always perfect behind the gates.

Premieres in 4TH Quarter 2007
It's "sew" time. Host Heidi Klum, designer/lead judge Michael Kors and Elle magazine editor-in-chief Nina Garcia return for another season of high fashion and drama in one of television's most talked about shows. The Emmy-nominated series "Project Runway" provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for budding designers to break into the notoriously exclusive fashion business. Style guru Tim Gunn also returns, mentoring a new crop of aspiring designers through each challenge, showing them how to "make it work." The finalists will face-off in front of an audience of movers and shakers at New York Fashion Week.

Premieres Fall 2007
Bravo spotlights the fall of 2007 with the final season of one of TV's most groundbreaking reality series, the Emmy Award-winning "Queer Eye," which concludes its four-year run with 10 all-new episodes. "Queer Eye: The Final Season" is all heart as the Fab Five's Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez continue their mission to "make-better" their subjects – beginning with a not-to-be-missed special premiere episode featuring a "Straight Guy Pageant" hosted by the legendary Susan Lucci. The Fab Five bring their good humor and expertise to Bravo's signature affinity groups, which include fashion, food, beauty, design and pop culture. In store this season is the transformation of a warring musical family, a monster truck-loving clutter bug and a divorced dad biker dude, among others. You'll be sure to laugh, shed a tear, a few pounds and maybe some unwanted facial hair.


Premieres Thursday, July 26 At 10 p.m. ET/PT
Bravo pulls back the curtain on the culture of high-class hotels and takes a look at the unique personalities that work and play there. "Welcome to the Parker" takes viewers into the world of the luxurious Parker Palm Springs hotel, a five-star resort with a-list clientele. Each episode will uncover the lives, relationships and drama of the hotel staff comprised of varying personalities who have the responsibility of keeping the hotel's demanding guests content. Viewers get a peek inside what keeps The Parker's sterling reputation intact, following everyone from the concierge to the housekeeping department to the maitre'd and all the colorful guests found inside its walls.

Premieres Tuesday, July 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
It takes a special kind of personality to handle flipping six multimillion-dollar houses at one time, but Jeff Lewis, an obsessive compulsive and successful businessman, pulls it off and turns a six-figure profit on every property. Lewis may blow up every now and then and perhaps fire an employee or two, but he's aware of his "Flipping Out" tendencies and attempts to counteract them with therapy, spiritual healers, psychics and the like. Whether it's turning over a house or a staff member, things are always flipping in Lewis' world. And each day comes with a new barrage of problems, from dealing with workers not showing up to the job site, to learning from his pet psychic that his cat, Monkey, needs some "alone time." With an intriguing cast of characters, living as one big dysfunctional family, there's never a dull moment on a "Flipping Out" project.

Premieres October 2007
Hosted by "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Susie Essman, the new series "Better Half" puts a new spin on Bravo's reality competition programs that explore creative professions. In each episode, the spouses/mates of two trained professionals – such as chefs, comedians, party planners, and hairstylists – square off in competition. The professionals have two days to coach their novice partner to take on their jobs and beat the opposing "better half" in a final challenge. Each week, three judges renowned in the featured line of work will assess how well each couple executed the job handoff. Skilled in managing her own "better half," the outspoken and honest Essman will shadow, needle and critique how the couples listen, learn and love without killing each other first.

Based on the successful UK series, fourteen of the country's most beautiful people – seven women and seven men – will compete to launch their modeling career with $100,000 in cash and that hard-to-get agency contract in "Make Me A Supermodel." In a first for the network, Bravo viewers will vote to determine the outcome each week. Over a 12-week period, these hopefuls will live together in a Manhattan loft and explore friendships, romance and naked ambition while undergoing a series of creative challenges designed to test their professional potential. This series will explore what it takes to turn the exceptionally good-looking into the king or queen of the catwalk.

Posted by Joe Reality on July 15, 2007 at 06:39 PM


Run For Money Announced By Sci Fi Channel

Run for Money is an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat reality competition show pitting contestants striving to earn cash and prizes against a group of relentless "Hunters." Based on a successful Japanese format from Fuji Television, the game takes place over exactly 60 minutes in various landmark locations in major cities around the country.

As the clock winds down, the competition gets harder. More Hunters appear on the streets, helicopters begin tracking and pinpointing the location of players, and tasks are assigned that test nerves and create laughs. In the end, only one player will survive to win the cash.

Run for Money is in development for the Sci Fi Channel, but a premiere date has not yet been announced. Run for Money is executive produced by Scott Messick and Mess Media for Buena Vista Productions and Fujisankei Communications International.

Posted by Joe Reality on July 15, 2007 at 06:50 PM


Dr. Steve-O Announced By USA Network

USA Network announced that it has ordered seven episodes of DR. STEVE-O, a reality program starring Jackass alum Steve-O ("Jackass," "Wildboyz") that is set to debut Monday, October 1 at 11:05pm/10:05 Central on USA Network. DR. STEVE-O will follow WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, the highest-rated weekly year-round series on cable.

Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions ("Real World," "The Simple Life"), DR. STEVE-O will follow the adventures of one-of-a-kind personality Steve-O, a member of a dying breed of live-life-to-the-max daredevils who is disgusted with the alarming number of "wussified" men in America. He travels around the country on a mission to "de-wussify" wimps, nerds and couch potatoes who have been nominated by their buddies, girlfriends, wives, mothers, coworkers or even have nominated themselves. Administering his brand of "extreme attitude adjustments," including shockingly hilarious stunts and embarrassingly funny and demented dares specifically tailored to each patient of the doctor on call, Steve-O will confront the guys, infiltrate their lives and shock them out of their shells.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with USA Network in bringing back someone with such a sizable, existing fan base on cable," said Jonathan Murray, President, Bunim-Murray Productions. "Steve-O is certain to complement USA's innovative programming."

"Steve-O brings his unique personality and sensibility to USA's incomparable line-up of characters," said Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president original programming, USA Network. "By joining him with WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, USA will guarantee the most thrilling night for male viewers on cable."

The national casting search for DR. STEVE-O has begun so if you know of a wussy or are a wussy yourself and need special treatment from DR. STEVE-O you can visit usanetwork.com for more information. The executive producers of DR. STEVE-O are Jonathan Murray and Jeff Jenkins.

Posted by Joe Reality on July 16, 2007 at 12:08 AM


Tim Gunn's Guide To Style To Take Fashion Challenged Through A Style Transformation

Your Style. Tim's Rules. There's only one man that any woman would welcome into her closet…Tim Gunn. And he's diving into closets everywhere in the one-hour, eight-episode series "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" premiering on Thursday, September 6 at 10 PM ET/PT. With tough-love, guidance, and former model and fashion accomplice Veronica Webb at his side, Gunn leads fashion-challenged women on an emotional journey to unearth their personal style. From wardrobe essentials, tips on how to shop, to finding the right fit, Gunn uses advice from his book, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality Taste and Style, to arm each woman with the basics to own her look and make it polished and stunning.

"I want every woman to achieve her style zenith," said Gunn. "Looking good takes hard work and commitment, but this series makes it fun. Each of the women I worked with discovered their own signature look, with a little coaching. My hope is that we'll inspire others to achieve their own stylish identities."

"If anyone can redefine the meaning of 'makeover,' it's Tim Gunn," said Berwick. "This series is unique and relatable. Viewers will learn from Tim and Veronica as they usher women with serious fashion issues through transformations – both inside and out – resulting in a renewed confidence and a personal style that they personally believe in."

In each episode of "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style," Gunn uses his unmatched counseling skills, to turn the fashion weary into polished individuals. While Gunn focuses on the big picture of each subject's transformation, Webb guides the women through shopping the Tim Gunn way, by steering their choices and listening to their concerns and offering solutions. The series utilizes several tools to help a diverse set of women make themselves over, including a list of various "fashion icons" the subjects pick from to determine who inspires their style – be it Jackie O., Angelina Jolie or Sarah Jessica Parker. Then, when building their signature looks, the subjects use Gunn's "essential shopping list," which includes 10 basic pieces that no closet should be without. Armed with Gunn's rules, each makeover subject is encouraged to get a great pair of jeans, a trying task for any woman. After the fashion is taken care of, Gunn calls on his friends and colleagues to put the finishing touches on the women, including hair and make-up.

On www.BravoTV.com, users will be able to further utilize the style knowledge gained from "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" with an interactive "dress up" game and a "get this look" feature. Additionally, fans can access more of Gunn in his blog, exclusive fashion tips, "After Tim" Q&As with makeover subjects, photo diaries and much more on the mobile web (WAP site). Gunn aficionados can also join the Tim Gunn SMS Fan Club, which will offer them exclusive tips, downloadable content, and more.

"Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" is produced by Stone and Company. Scott Stone and Sarah-Jane Cohen are executive producers.

Posted by Joe Reality on July 16, 2007 at 12:11 AM


UFO Hunters Announced By Sci Fi Channel

From the creators of SCI FI Channel's hit series Ghost Hunters, comes the search for paranormal phenomena of a different kind. UFO Hunters, a series from Emmy Award winning executive producer Craig Piligian, Tom Thayer and Piligian's Pilgrim Films and Television, sets out to investigate claims of UFO sightings and otherworldly experiences.

UFO Hunters will investigate, review and reveal, giving viewers a new perspective on the universe around them. "UFOlogists" have always walked the fine line between science and fantasy. Long objects of ridicule, there's a new generation of investigators using cutting-edge technology to legitimize the examination of evidence and separate genuine claims from works of fiction.

As with The Atlantic Paranormal Society of (TAPS) featured on Ghost Hunters, New York Strange Phenomena Investigators (NY-SPI), led by co-founders Oliver Kemenczky and Ted Davis, and supported by researcher/investigator Dennis Anderson, will bring to UFO Hunters their decades of experience and unquestioned credibility in the UFO community. And for the first time, reality television may reveal evidence that we have been visited…and will be again!

Posted by Joe Reality on July 16, 2007 at 12:12 AM


National Bingo Night To Return In December

"National Bingo Night" will return to ABC this December with five consecutive nights of the high-energy game of luck based on the popular American pastime. The Network will ring in the holidays with a festival of fantastic prizes, culminating in a massive cash jackpot. "National Bingo Night" will air this December on the ABC Television Network.

During its six-week summer run, the popularity of "National Bingo Night" helped drive ABC.com to be the top entertainment TV site for May, with over three million grids downloaded for at-home play prior to the series premiere. ABC.com ranked No. 1 in May for both unique visitors and page views according to MediaMetrix and Nielsen NetRatings. Over $550,000 in cash and prizes were given to at-home viewers who logged on and played along.

In each episode, three high action Bingo games are played in-studio, with the viewing public invited to play along. In each game, a contestant tries his/her luck, racing against the studio audience as balls numbered from 1-75 are randomly selected from a giant sphere set in a high tech "Bingo Plex" arena. The studio audience tracks the numbers on their own Bingo cards for a chance to win and send the in-studio contestant home empty-handed. Millions of viewers are also able to play along at home by printing out free cards via ABC.com for the opportunity to collect tens of thousands of prizes and become eligible for a huge cash jackpot.

The show is hosted by "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" design team contributor Ed Sanders" and co-hosted by Sunil Narkar. National Bingo Night" is executive-produced and created by Andrew Glassman ("Three Wishes," "Average Joe") for Glassman Media.

Posted by Joe Reality on July 13, 2007 at 12:01 AM



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FOX Unleashes More 'Hell,' 'Dance'
Unscripted summer hits will be back in 2008

July 22, 2007

Gordon Ramsay of 'Hell's Kitchen'

FOX has ordered up fourth seasons of Gordon Ramsay's cooking-and-swearing reality show "Hell's Kitchen" and the self-explanatory talent show "So You Think You Can Dance."

Reliable summer performers for the past three years, "Hell's Kitchen" and "So You Think You Can Dance" have both been scheduled for 2008.

This summer's "Hell's Kitchen" premiere drew 8 million viewers, up from last year's premiere, while its 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 was equal to last season's demo result. For the season, its viewership is hovering at 8.14 million, contributing to FOX's summer-long streak of demo wins.

"So You Think You Dance" has performed even better, with both its Wednesday and Thursday telecasts ranking among the summer's Top 3 regular performers in 18-49 and 18-34 demos, reliably winning its time period in all measures. The third season is up over last season by 3 percent in the 18-49 demo.

Both shows will reach their season finales in the same mid-August week. FOX has set the "Hell's Kitchen" finale for Monday, Aug. 13. "So You Think You Can Dance" will have a special results show on Tuesday, Aug. 14, while the last performance and results shows will air with two-hour episodes on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.



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Dancing with the Stars judges, Snoop Dogg, newlyweds get reality shows

ABC is spinning off a new show from Dancing with the Stars, using its two non-geriatric judges for a competition called Dance X. Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will “act as coach-choreographers” who will be “selecting members for their own dance teams and then putting them through their paces as they learn a new routine each week.” Viewers vote, and “the losing coach [has] to eliminate a member of his or her troupe each week,” Variety reports.

The show is an import from the UK, where it also stars Tonioli and “was an instant hit,” Variety says. Reports suggest that “ABC is aiming to debut the show in January, in between seasons of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’”

Over on E!, Snoop Dogg will join the cable network with his own half-hour reality show. The show “will follow Snoop Dogg — aka Calvin Broadus Jr. — as he pursues his career, taking viewers into closed-door meeting and private recording sessions. They will also follow him in his roles as the founder of a youth football league and as dad to two sons and a daughter and husband to Shante,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The untitled show is scheduled for a debut late this year.

The last reality show with the word “newlyweds” in the title ended in divorce, but that didn’t stop ABC from ordering Here Come the Newlyweds. The show “pits seven recently hitched couples against each other in competition for an ever-escalating cash prize. Couples will engage in various challenges designed to test their relationships, with one husband and wife voted off each week,” Variety says. Executive producer Tony Marsh says that it’s like a certain kind of movie: “You see romantic comedies in the movies and in scripted TV but not in reality. We wanted to do a competition that would feel more fun and light and stay away from the backstabbing elements that have crept into so many shows.”

ABC is ready to ‘Dance’ again [Variety]
TCA: E! eyes Snoop for new reality show [Hollywood Reporter]
ABC greenlights ‘Newlyweds’ [Variety]

posted Jul. 26, 2007 at 6:58 AM



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'The Simple Life' Is Over
E! says Sunday's episode will be series finale

July 30, 2007

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in 'The Simple Life Goes to Camp'

Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton will stop living "The Simple Life" after this week.

E!, which has aired the last two seasons of the two celebs' semi-scripted series, says Sunday's episode, which wraps up a season of "The Simple Life Goes to Camp," will be the series finale. Hilton and Richie leave behind a record of 53 episodes of fish-out-of-water hijinks, which saw them try to live small-town life, travel across the country, work at real jobs, take a crack at married life and, this season, work as camp counselors.

In between, of course, the two found other ways to remain constantly in the tabloid spotlight, and in the past two months, earn jail sentences. Hilton served a little over three weeks for repeated probation violations in June, and last week Richie was sentenced to four days in jail on a DUI charge.

"The Simple Life" aired on FOX for its first three seasons, where it earned pretty decent ratings. The show's third season averaged 9 million-plus viewers (though those numbers are inflated some by a post-"American Idol" timeslot for several episodes), but FOX decided to drop the show after that.

E! picked it up last year and did a season in which Hilton and Richie -- who were then feuding -- shared no screen time together. The duo made up in time for this season, during which they worked as counselors at several different types of camps. The show improved the cable network's ratings as well, but it was not a breakout hit.

The finale will feature Hilton and Richie writing a play "in tribute to their decades-long friendship" (hey, that's what the press release says) and performing it with the help of attendees at a drama camp and actress Sally Kirkland.



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Idol Producers Band Together to Find Out What's Next

Perhaps sensing that American Idol has peaked (thanks a lot, Sanjaya), the reality juggernaut's producers have come up with a new show, tentatively titled The Next Great American Band, which seeks to discover not merely the heirs apparent to Madonna and Michael Jackson but tomorrow's Heart and Journey. The battle begins with a two-hour episode on Oct. 19 (and will air every Friday thereafter). Brooke Band, get your audition song ready, 'cause they're finally ready for you!

Tuesday's Today's News was written by Ben Katner.

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 07/31/07 10:56 AM



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Fox Announces Schedule Changes

FOX recently announced changes to its fall lineup on Wednesday and Thursday nights. KITCHEN NIGHTMARES shifts to Wednesdays at 9:00 PM, starting Sept. 19; and DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS! hums along on Thursdays at 9:00 PM, beginning Sept. 6.

New unscripted series KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, in which fiery master chef Gordon Ramsay attempts to transform failing restaurants into popular hot-spots, serves its first course Wednesday, Sept. 19 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). And DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!, with a $1-million prize awaiting contestants who can sing 10 missing lyrics in 10 hit songs, has its time-period premiere Thursday, Sept. 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

Leading off the game-show tandem on Thursdays is the A+ hit ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER?, which now premieres with a special one-hour class session on Thursday, Sept. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and, as previously announced, also will air on four fall Fridays: Sept.14, Sept. 21, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

Later in the fall, Fridays will rock with AMERICAN BAND. The producers behind mega-hit phenomenon AMERICAN IDOL take the musical reality genre to a whole new level in a search for the nation’s best undiscovered bands, starting with the two-hour series premiere Friday, Oct. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. AMERICAN BAND’s regular time period will be Fridays, 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT, leading into NASHVILLE.

Posted by Joe Reality on August 04, 2007 at 12:01 AM



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America's Got Talent & Last Comic Standing Renewed For Another Season

NBC has re-upped its popular summer series franchises "America's Got Talent" and "Last Comic Standing" for a third and sixth season respectively, it was announced today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

"Both of these innovative series have proven to be summer staples and important franchises for NBC," said Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment. "We have the most watched show in 'America's Got Talent,' and one of the most upscale series in 'Last Comic Standing,' and now viewers can look forward to seeing these popular brand series with fresh new shows again next summer."

"America's Got Talent" (Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. ET) has averaged a 3.6 rating, 11 share in adults 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) making it primetime's #1 series in total viewers. The talent competition series has improved the Tuesday 8-9:30 p.m. timeslot by 21 percent in adults 18-49 versus last summer.

"Last Comic Standing" (Wednesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET) hit a six-month time-period high for NBC last week scoring the network's strongest Wednesday 9-10 p.m. rating since January 31. The series is delivering a 2.8/8 in 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers overall this summer.

The pickup announcement comes as "America's Got Talent" is preparing for its live, two-part season finale with a special 90-minute performance episode on Tuesday, August 14 from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. The following Tuesday (August 21), the million-dollar winner will be revealed in an exhilarating two-hour live episode from 8-10 p.m. (ET).

Last week on "Last Comic Standing," the first of three head-to-head competitions took place to determine who will be the final five comedians. Then, starting August 22, the finalists perform and for the first time ever there will be an international vote to pick the last comic standing. The two-hour live season finale will be broadcast on Wednesday, Sept.19 (9-11 p.m. ET).

Bringing the variety format back to the forefront of American culture, "America's Got Talent," hosted by Jerry Springer, showcases the hottest performers from across the country, with the winner being chosen by the television viewing audience. Each week, the show features a colorful array of hopeful future stars -- singers, dancers, comedic performers and unique acts of all ages who have a chance to strut and perform in front of a panel of celebrity judges including David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan.

"America's Got Talent" is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell's SYCO TV. Cowell ("American Idol"), Ken Warwick ("American Idol"), Cecile Frot-Coutaz ("American Idol"), Jason Raff ("Three Wishes") and James Sunderland ("Dancing on Ice") are the executive producers.

"Last Comic Standing," hosted by Bill Bellamy, along with the talent scouts Alonzo Bodden, ANT and Kathleen Madigan, traveled the world this season looking for the most talented new comedian. Auditions were held in London, Montreal, Sydney, Australia, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Tempe. The winner will receive a $250,000 prize, an exclusive talent contact with NBC Universal and his or her own half-hour comedy special on Bravo.

"Last Comic Standing" is produced by Peter Engel Productions, Magical Elves and Universal Media Studios. The executive producers are Peter Engel ("Saved By the Bell," "The Next Best Thing"), Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Bravo's "Project Runway") and Barry Katz ("Action," "Dane Cook's Tourgasm"). Javier Winnik ("The Singing Bee") is the co-executive producer.

Posted by Joe Reality on August 06, 2007 at 10:22 PM



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Fall 2007 reality show debuts and schedule

The leaves may not be changing colors yet, and it’s certainly not getting any cooler, but the fall television season is almost upon us, even as summer reality shows end their runs. Some are new (on cable), some are old (on broadcast networks), and a few kicked off over the past month and continue into the fall (mostly on MTV). If there’s a trend this fall, it’s the return of old favorites, kind of like last fall. This year, though, especially on the networks, there are a few more new shows than last year.

The following is a frequently updated list of noteworthy new and returning reality shows scheduled to air this fall whose networks have officially announced their debut dates and timeslots. Times are in ET; as always, check listings first, as networks change their minds frequently:
  • The Real World Sydney [MTV, Aug. 1, Wednesdays at 10]
  • The Hills [MTV, Aug. 13, Mondays at 10]
  • Newport Harbor [MTV, Aug. 15, Wednesdays at 10:30]
  • American Princess [WE, Aug. 19, Sundays at 10]
  • Life of Ryan [MTV, Aug. 27, Mondays at 10:30]
  • The Contender 3 [ESPN, Sept. 4, Tuesdays at 10]
  • Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style [Bravo, Sept. 6, Thursdays at 10]
  • The Biggest Loser 4 [NBC, Sept. 11, Wednesdays at 8]
  • Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team 2 [CMT, Sept. 19, Fridays at 8]
  • Nashville [FOX, Sept. 14, Fridays at 9]
  • Beauty and the Geek 3 [The CW, Sept. 18, Tuesdays at 8]
  • America’s Next Top Model 9 [The CW, Sept. 19, Wednesdays at 8]
  • Kid Nation [CBS, Sept. 19, Wednesdays at 8]
  • Kitchen Nightmares [FOX, Sept. 19, Wednesdays at 9]
  • Survivor China [CBS, Sept. 20, Thursdays at 8]
  • Dancing with the Stars 5 [ABC, Sept. 24, Mondays at 8, Tuesdays at 9]
  • The Bachelor 11 [ABC, Sept. 24, Mondays at 10]
  • Ultimate Fighter 6 [Spike, Sept. 26, Wednesdays at 10]
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [ABC, Sept. 30, Sundays at 8]
  • The Search for the Next Elvira [FOX Reality, Oct. 13, Saturdays at 9]
  • Girl Meets Cowboy [WE, Oct. 14, Sundays at 10]
  • The Search for the Next Great American Band [FOX, Oct. 19, Fridays at 8]
  • Project Runway 4 [Bravo, Nov. 14, Wednesdays at 10]

posted Aug. 28, 2007 at 7:00 AM



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'Singing Bee' Buzzes to New Time
NBC delays premiere a week, switches timeslot

September 19, 2007

'The Singing Bee' host Joey Fatone

NBC is tinkering with its Tuesday-night lineup a little, holding back "The Singing Bee" for a bit and moving it to earlier in the night when it does premiere.

The sing-along game show, which was initially scheduled to debut next week, will now premiere Tuesday, Oct. 2. And rather than airing at 9:30 p.m. ET following "The Biggest Loser," it will kick off the night at 8, leading into 90-minute episodes of "Loser" at 8:30.

The change moves "The Singing Bee" away from the likes of "House" and the "Dancing with the Stars" results show, which occupy the 9 p.m. hour for FOX and ABC. "The Biggest Loser" has built its audience from hour to hour in its first two episodes this season and probably gives NBC a better shot at competing with the FOX and ABC powerhouses and CBS' "The Unit."

After "The Singing Bee" debuted to more than 13 million viewers in July, NBC quickly ordered additional episodes for the fall. Its ratings have cooled since then; recent episodes have drawn in the neighborhood of 8 million viewers.

Joey Fatone hosts the show, in which contestants have to complete song lyrics after the music stops.

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