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Thread: Simon Cowell moves from 'American Idol' to dating game 'Cupid'

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Simon Cowell moves from 'American Idol' to dating game 'Cupid'

    Simon Cowell moves from 'American Idol' to dating game 'Cupid'

    By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

    NEW YORK (July 6, 9:26 a.m. PDT) - With his new dating game, "Cupid," Simon Cowell may have everything going for him but timing.

    The "American Idol" villain premieres "Cupid" on CBS this Wednesday in the midst of a desultory summer of reality programming. There's a glut of series, none particularly good and none breakout hits.

    The danger for Cowell is getting lost in the quicksand - that viewers numbed by "For Love or Money" or "Paradise Hotel" won't give his program a chance.

    After having seen several American networks initially pass on "American Idol" before it became a hit, Cowell - never afraid to offer his opinion, anyway - is confident of this one.

    "Regardless of the competition or the timing, if something is fundamentally good, it will work," he said. "If something is fundamentally bad, it won't. I don't think you could ever invent the perfect time slot for any show."

    Cowell conceived the show and is its executive producer. He wasn't going to appear on the air, but recently decided to serve as a narrator for the first two episodes.

    In its advertising, CBS has happily played up the participation of one of reality TV's most recognizable performers.

    That alone may earn "Cupid" a significant number of viewers tuning in out of curiosity, an advantage few of its rivals can count on, said Marc Berman, a television analyst for Media Week Online.

    But it may not be enough.

    "I do not think it's going to be a hit show," Berman said. "There's just too many shows like this. There's nothing different about this show, there's no novelty to it."

    On the surface, "Cupid" seems an appealing blend of "American Idol" and "The Bachelor." The lead character is Linda Shannon, 25, an advertising copywriter who winds up with a potential mate voted upon by the viewing public.

    Shannon is given a $1 million dowry, which she can keep if she marries the winning guy and stays married for a year.

    This summer is shaping up as a low-water mark for reality, both creatively and commercially. It's a train wreck that could have been anticipated, with so many shows were rushed into production after the success of "Joe Millionaire" and "The Bachelor" last winter. Networks figure viewers are more open to creating a new sensation in the summer.

    Yet when ABC debuted "The Dating Experiment" on June 25, it barely drew 4.8 million viewers. Fox's "Anything But Love" premiere was seen by a paltry 5.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

    "The networks are churning out so many of these shows that it seems counterproductive to acknowledge all of them," wrote disgusted critic David Bianculli in the New York Daily News. "But since they're swarming this summer like ants at a picnic, every once in a while they deserve to be sprayed."

    So far, this summer's prime-time television has been dominated by Jerry Bruckheimer and Dick Wolf. The shows they produce - Wolf's "Law & Order" and its two spinoffs, Bruckheimer's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" franchise and "Without a Trace" - have been more popular in reruns than anything new.

    One advantage for "Cupid" is that it's on CBS. The "Survivor" network is less susceptible than its rivals to flooding the airwaves. It picks projects with care and promotes them relentlessly.

    "CBS knows how to do reality," Berman said. "They do it very wisely."

    Cowell shouldn't be frightened by all the competition, said veteran producer Michael Davies, who made "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." A good idea produced well always stands a chance, he said.

    "I think Simon Cowell is an extremely talented person with a great feel for pop and pop culture," Davies said. "He's one of those guys you would do very badly to bet against."

    Cowell brings one of the most compulsively watchable aspects of "American Idol" to "Cupid." Just like the Fox show gives you a chance to cringe at, or mock, embarrassingly bad singers, "Cupid" will let you see all the losers that try to date Ms. Right.

    "I find it ridiculous on these shows that you have 20 guys selected by producers and you say to the girl, 'You will fall in love with one of these guys,'" Cowell said. "I find that slightly absurd."

    Shannon, raised in the Detroit suburbs, watched "auditions" of potential mates in Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. She brought two of her friends along to dish on the guys.

    That's more like real life, too, Cowell said.

    "If you see a pretty girl in a bar, she's never going to be on her own if she's looking for a guy," he said.

    Don't expect wine and roses, romantic nights shown with a soft-focus camera lens.

    "I know what the dating scene is like in real life," Cowell said. "Unfortunately, it's not medieval castles and red rose ceremonies. I wish! It's not. It's about humiliation and ego and jealousy - all those things I think we understand."
    http://www.tribnet.com/24hour/entert...-6532253c.html

  2. #2
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    "I do not think it's going to be a hit show," Berman said. "There's just too many shows like this. There's nothing different about this show, there's no novelty to it."
    That's the thing with these romance reality shows now, you have to have a gimmick to hook the viewers.
    "That's Numberwang!"

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    I think they're hoping that the hook is Simon

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    I think it's got a pretty decent gimmick. In other dating shows (i.e. The Bachelor, FLOM, etc.), the producers have picked the pool of contestants. In this one, Lisa's friends pick the pool, from open casting...

    I think that, in itself, might make this a surprise hit.

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    hee Mdrio9's Avatar
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    It's on at 10 PM, right? I wonder why it's timeslot is so late. Or is there no real reason at all, and I'm just overthinking?

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    Yep, it is slotted for 10PM which makes you think if anything, the show is going to be very brutal and honest (tm Simon) But, unfortunately, we in the Raleigh, NC viewing area won't be able to watch Cupid tonight. WRAL is the only CBS affiliate in the nation that will be pre-empting the show with nonetheless "The Andy Griffith Show", a more wholesome alternative (despite what they are trying to say in the N&O). Gawd, I could understand if Andy Griffith just passed away or something, but the show wasn't even made available for station exec's to preview! I know other stations have pulled off shows like "Temptation Island" for the impure content, but WRAL-TV being the only one to pull "Cupid" smells fishy to me.

    Well, at least one can still get the recaps from here.
    Last edited by ldmarie; 07-09-2003 at 03:17 PM.

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    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    I'll likely give it a try. I usually give all the dating shows a try.

    I do like the premise that her friends are helping her choose someone. My one friend would be amazing for that show.

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    I'll give it a try.

  9. #9
    ~I Luv Canyon~
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    i'll give it a try too

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