SPIKE TV’S “THE JOE SCHMO SHOW” PUTS NEW TWIST ON REALITY SHOW GENRE, WHERE ONLY ONE CONTESTANT IS REAL
Television’s Biggest And Riskiest Experiment Premieres Tuesday, September 2
New York, NY, August 12, 2003 -- It's the ultimate reality show...yet it isn't real at all. Spike TV, The First Network For Men, and Stone Stanley Entertainment take the reality show concept to the next level with “The Joe Schmo Show,” where only one contestant is real. This next wave in reality programming premieres with a two-hour event on Tuesday, September 2 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) and then can be seen in it’s regular time slot on Tuesdays (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT).
"The Joe Schmo Show" is one of television's biggest and riskiest experiments. Playing into men’s appetites for competition, humor and beautiful women, “The Joe Schmo Show” combines elements from many reality shows found on TV...except with one huge secret -- only one of the contestants is real. Everyone else on the show, from the host to the other 'players', are actors following a pre-determined outline. How would a naive reality contestant react to encountering a show filled with every outlandish element reality television has showcased? How far can producers push this 'reality,' and the ensuing ridiculous competitions? Will the actors be convincing enough? Will our unsuspecting “Joe” figure it all out? And if “Joe” does figure it out, how will “Joe” respond?
Matt Kennedy Gould is our unsuspecting “contestant” and the ultimate wildcard element that this entire show revolves around. Think middle. Middle class. Middle America and middle of the road. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Matt recently dropped out of law school and is a pizza deliveryman until he figures out what he wants to do with his life. He is the only non-actor of the house. Matt Kennedy Gould is our “Joe Schmo.”
Gould thinks he’s a contestant on “Lap of Luxury,” a new reality show in which he would live the life of the super-rich, pampered beyond his wildest dreams in a gorgeous, sprawling mansion while vying with eight other contestants for a grand prize of one hundred thousand dollars. As on many reality programs, the show features reward challenges. On “Lap of Luxury,” these challenges are called “Pampering Competitions,” games in which contestants “compete” for high-priced luxury items including flat screen televisions, vacations or simply the use of the mansion’s master suite. The show also includes “Lord of the Manor Immunity Showdowns,” in which contestants compete for immunity to avoid being “evicted” from the house. Both the “Pampering Competitions” and the “Immunity Showdowns” are parodies of similar elements in ‘eviction style’ reality shows and are completely rigged by the writers and producers.
At the end of each typical episode, the “Lap of Luxury” pseudo-reality show holds a “Riches to Rags Eviction Ceremony,” a “ritual” where castmates vote to evict one of their own. The evicted contestant's “Lap of Luxury Collectors Plate” is tossed into the fireplace, and the host deadpans: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, (fill in name), you are dead to us!” This over-dramatic ritual pokes fun at the melodrama of every major reality show, using extreme close-ups, histrionic music, and ridiculous, gut-wrenching moments of tension.
In addition to surrounding Matt with stereotypical reality show contestants– The Buddy, The A**hole, The Grizzled Veteran, The Schemer, The Rich B*tch, The Gay Guy, The Virgin and The Quack -- series producers conspired to subject Matt nearly every over-the-top reality competition the networks have dared… along with a few too risky to have been tried before. Designed to test Matt’s moral fortitude, patience and sanity the competitions include: Hands on a High-Priced Hooker; A Meal Not Quite Fit for King; Battle of the Sexes and Money, Money, Money, Honey.
This weekly one-hour innovative new series is produced exclusively for the First Network for Men by one of television's leading independent production companies, Stone Stanley Entertainment ("The Mole," "Fame," "The Man Show"). “The Joe Schmo Show” was created by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who also serve as writers and executive producers with David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone and Anthony Ross. Peilin Chou is the Executive in Charge of Production for Spike TV.
Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 86 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks owns and operates the cable and television programming services MTV: Music Television, MTV2, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, VH1 and CMT: Country Music Television, as well as The Digital Suite from MTV Networks, a package of thirteen digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.
# # #
THE JOE SCHMO SHOW – BIOGRAPHIES
Cast of Characters & Actors Bios
(in alphabetical order by character)
· The Rich B*tch – Ashleigh
For Ashleigh it’s always that time of the month for the entire month. A little too beautiful and a little too smart, Ashleigh is just a little too eager to grind your heart with the heel of her expensive, high-heeled shoes. Having a good day? Don’t worry, Ashleigh will fix that in no time flat.
The character Ashleigh is portrayed by Melissa Yvonne Lewis. Melissa’s experience includes roles in feature film, television and theater. She has been seen in theaters as Miss Buffalo in Drop Dead Gorgeous and as the recurring character Alicia on television’s “Beverly Hills 90210.”
· The Buddy – Brian
He’s the guy that befriends Matt by becoming his buddy and sounding board. He’s always quick with a joke and a naturally funny guy.
Brian is portrayed by Brian Keith Etheridge. In addition to being a castmember, Brian is also a segment producer for this series. He was instrumental for making last minute, on-the-fly storyline changes that were necessary to keep this show going. Brian was a writer, performer and producer for Fox Sports Network’s comedy/variety show “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.” In addition, Brian recently completed Level 4 of the Groundlings Improv Program.
· The Grizzled Veteran – Earl
Earl is a former Special-Ops veteran with more than 60 combat missions under his belt. Earl has seen it all, including a few things he’d probably rather forget. He’s the strong, silent and sinewy type, and as one might expect, a very intimidating presence. Like many of his generation, Earl doesn’t adjust well to modern technology changes and possesses a strong disdain for any “alternative” lifestyles.
Earl is portrayed by Franklin Dennis Jones. Jones is an experienced USMC sergeant and drill instructor and is a Vietnam veteran. Jones has been seen numerous acting roles including in the feature films Reindeer Games, 5 Seconds and Contact and the television movies TNT’s “George Wallace,” NBC’s “The 70s” and HBO’s “Path To War.” He’s also had featured roles on “The West Wing,” “Arli$$,” and “Knots Landing.”
· The Schemer – Gina
Gina is the sexy spitfire who wants to win the game at all costs. She has a tattoo reading “Girls Kick Ass” on the top of her foot – which explains it all. Gina thinks she’s a “reality show expert,” but her frantic alliance-building tactic may backfire.
Gina is portrayed by Nikki Davis. Davis’ acting resume includes film roles in Friday After Next and The Program, along with numerous television appearances.
· The A**hole –“The Hutch”
“The Hutch” passes himself off as a cop, but he actually wasn’t able to pass the Houston PD psych test. So all he passes now the store-fronts on his beat as a security guard at the local mall. An authority-dispensing bully who has the ability to burrow under everyone’s skin. Though physically gifted, he’s definitely mentally challenged. The Hutch’s horrific hygiene and uncouth social habits make him the guy everyone loves to hate.
“The Hutch” is portrayed by David Hornsby. Hornsby has an extensive list of film, television and theater credits. Recent films he’s been featured in are Minority Report, Pearl Harbor and Born Loser. This fall, David will star in the UPN sitcom “The Mullet Brothers” and has had recurring roles on the HBO hit series “Six Feet Under,” CBS’s “Presido Med” and WB’s “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.”
· The Gay Guy – Kip
Kip is the loveable doormat with a huge heart. Kip wears his emotions on his sleeve…his collar…and his boa scarf. He’ll laugh. He’ll cry. He’ll keep right on crying. Kip is somewhere over the raninbow….flag that is. He’s the one guy who always wants a group hug.
The character Kip is portrayed by Lance Krall. Krall is a founding member of popular improvisational comedy group, The Whole World Theatre. He was a cast member on the NBC sitcom “The Downer Channel” and co-host of “The Cindy Margolis Show.” Krall also starred in the independent film Made Up with Brooke Adams and Tony Shaloub, in his directorial debut.
· The Quack – Dr. Pat
Though divorced three times with no children, Dr. Pat is a family and marriage counselor. Her theory on listening: “That’s why God gave us two ears and one mouth.” Unfortunately, Dr. Pat’s actions make her seem as though she has no ears and five mouths. If you think that the house is crowded with now, wait until Dr. Pat whips out her anatomically correct ‘therapy dolls.’
The character Dr. Pat is portrayed by Kristen Wiig. Wiig is a comedy improv veteran and is a member of The Groundlings Sunday Company and Empty Stage, both located in Los Angeles.
· The Virgin – Molly
She’s pure as the driven snow and straight out of Sunday school. Molly is “miss goody two-shoes,” complete with teddy bear T-shirts, Creed posters and old-fashioned sayings like “Oh, my stars!”
The character Molly is portrayed Angela Dobson. This was only Dobson’s second television audition ever. A former model from Texas, her prior experience has included work in the theater.
· The Host – Ralph Garman
A complete on-camera professional who isn't quite as smooth off-air. He's a bit of a prima donna - prickly and difficult. Our host lost out to his nemesis Ryan Seacrest for the "American Idol" job and can't quite get over the fact that he's slumming by doing this cable gig.
Series host Ralph Garman is portrayed by himself. Garman has an extensive career in both television and radio, and is currently the comedic part of Los Angeles' top radio station's morning show, KROQ. He's also provided various voices for the Fox animated comedy "Family Guy," had several appearances on NYPD Blue, and even had a recurring role on the soap opera, "Days of Our Lives."
# # #
THE JOE SCHMO SHOW -- GAME DESCRIPTIONS
“Pampering Competitions” & “Lord of the Manor Immunity Showdowns”
(listed in alphabetical order)
· Battle of the Sexes - This game spoofs the typical “trivia about your housemates” contest, not to mention any reality game that pits the men against the women. Cast members fill out sexual questionnaires about themselves. While the actors’ answers are provided for them, Matt’s responses are the real deal. The winners receive a day at a spa, whereas the losers are forced to dress in clothing of the opposite gender and act out ridiculous punishments such as submitting to a spanking or performing a foot massage.
· Hands on a High-Priced Hooker - This game is a parody of the “last man standing” endurance competitions on other reality shows. Remember reality contestants squeezing into an SUV on ‘Big Brother’ or perched on posts in a river on ‘Survivor?’ The person who keeps in contact with the hooker the longest is granted immunity.
· Master Debater - Contestants were asked to argue various points while simultaneously being distracted by their fellow housemates.
· A Meal Not Quite Fit for King - This game parodies shows that force contestants to eat all sorts of disgusting things. Castmates are all brought plates of 'delicacies' such as goat eyes and monkey testicles. Fortunately for our actors and for Matt, the delicacies were in fact innocuous look-alikes, not the real thing.
· Money, Money, Money, Honey – This game parodies the sexually suggestive shenanigans forced on contestants by overzealous, ratings-crazed producers. Players are paired up, handcuffed and dipped in honey – then told to roll around in a pile of money, collect it on their bodies and deposit it into a barrel.
· Sumo Slam - No reality show is complete without a ridiculous test of physical will. This game spoofs all those "American Gladiator"-like grunt-offs. Castmates donned inflatable sumo suits and squared off inside a wrestling circle, trying to knock one another over.
· Talent Show - This game spoofs the various reality talent shows. Cast members were asked to perform their favorite skills onstage. Two judges and our host and former “reality-bitch” Jerri Manthey from “Survivor II,” skewer the various acts. The winner secured immunity.
· These Drawers Aren't Yours - This game parodies the "How well do you know your fellow housemates" games that you so often see on reality shows. A pair of each cast member's underwear (given to the producers in advance) was modeled by another random cast member, and contestants had to guess whose underwear was actually whose. This game was made even more ridiculous because it was played on the first day of the show, before players had much time to gather information about each other. The victor won sole use of the master suite and the loser had to wear the winner's underwear for the remainder of the day.
· Wet T-Shirt - This game spoofs the outrageous sexual escapades of various reality shows. Contestants were paired up and asked to jump into a pool to try to splash t-shirts worn by busty models. Underneath the t-shirts were written coded messages. The contestants were asked to uncode the messages to try to win immunity.
# # #
“THE JOE SCHMO SHOW” – GLOSSARY OF SHOW TERMS
· Bidet – That porcelain thing in the bathroom that took Matt a whole week to figure out.
· Collector’s Plate – The collector plate represents a contestant’s presence on the show. When a contestant’s collector plate is smashed, so are their dreams of winning $100,000.
· Confession Room – Where contestants go to bare their souls to the nation.
· Control Room – Where the brain trust controls Matt’s world.
· Creature Comfort – Everyone brings a personal favorite item from home to share with the group.
· ‘Fly Under the Radar’ – What Matt hopes to do to make it to the end of the game.
· Immunity Robe – Having possession of the robe disqualifies the contestant from being eliminated (see “Lord of the Manor” Immunity Showdown and “Riches to Rags” Eviction Ceremony).
· “Lap of Luxury” – The sham reality show Matt thinks he’s a part of. ‘Lap of Luxury’ has all the ridiculous hallmarks of the top shows, and takes itself way, way too seriously.
· “Lord of the Manor” Immunity Showdown – Contestants vie for immunity from eviction at all costs.
· Master Suite – “Lap of Luxury”’s ultimate prize – the most coveted bedroom in the mansion.
· “Pampering Competition” – Reward challenges, contestants vie to win valuable prizes.
· “Riches to Rags” Eviction Ceremony – Where contestants vote one another off and deliver emotional exit speeches in an over-dramatic send-up of the genre.
· Sequestering – What happens to reality contestants while their producers huddle behind the scenes. Matt was sequestered just a bit longer than your average reality contestant.
# # #
THE JOE SCHMO SHOW – CREATORS AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BIOS
RHETT REESE – Series Creator/Executive Producer
Rhett Reese is a producer and writer with over a decade of experience creating and writing feature films and television shows. He is best known for his work in family entertainment. He has written screenplays for Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Television Animation, Jim Henson Productions, Nickelodeon, Universal Pictures, and Warner Brothers, among others.
Rhett was the original writer of Pixar’s smash hit ‘Monsters, Inc, ’ a writer on Disney’s revolutionary animated film ‘Dinosaur,’ and contributed to Disney’s ‘The Three Musketeers’ and ‘Tarzan 2.’ He adapted the cult young-adult novel ‘The Adventures of Blue Avenger’ into a screenplay for Nickelodeon. He also adapted the children’s classic ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ into a screenplay for Scholastic Entertainment and Warner Brothers. The film is slated for a first quarter 2004 release.
Most recently, Rhett departed radically from the family genre by writing a sequel to the Sarah Michelle Gellar / Reese Witherspoon hit ‘Cruel Intentions.’
In 2001, Rhett partnered with longtime friend and colleague Paul Wernick to found Reese Wernick Productions, a company dedicated to the creation and production of entertainment in various media.
PAUL WERNICK – Series Creator/Executive Producer
Paul Wernick is an Emmy Award winning television producer, creating, developing, writing, and producing innovative television for more than a decade. Paul produced news around the country, logging more than a thousand hours of live television before making the transition to reality television.
Paul went on to produce “Big Brother 2” for CBS, “The Chair” for ABC, and “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here” for ABC. Paul’s work has taken him around the world, overseeing international production in both New Zealand and Australia. Paul won 3 Emmy Awards at KCAL-9 News in Los Angeles, for Best Newscast, Breaking News, and News Special. He won Associated Press’s Best Newscast Award in 2000. Paul was also the subject of A&E’s “Investigative Reports” ‘Hype and Glory.’
In 2001, Paul partnered with longtime friend and colleague Rhett Reese to found Reese Wernick Productions, a company dedicated to the creation and production of entertainment in various media.
ANTHONY ROSS – Executive Producer
Anthony Ross has signed an overall production deal with Stone Stanley Entertainment. Over the past several years, Ross has served as Supervising Producer on several Stone Stanley series including "Loveline" (MTV), and "I Can't Believe You Said That!" (Fox Family). Additionally, Ross was Co-Executive Producer on the highly successful game show "Shop 'til You Drop" (PAX) and a Producer on "Bobcat's Bigass Show" (FX) as well as several of the company's pilots.
Prior to his work with the company, Ross was a producer on the syndicated series, "The Richard Bey Show." He has extensive news experience as he served as a Broadcast Associate for "CBS News Nightwatch; Associate Producer for "CBS News" during the presidential inauguration; and a Field Producer for CBS Newsnet Service and E! Entertainment Television. Ross is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
# # #
SCOTT A. STONE AND DAVID G. STANLEY
STONE STANLEY ENTERTAINMENT
THE JOE SCHMO SHOW – PRODUCTION COMPANY/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BIOS
Since founding Stone Stanley Entertainment in 1990, Scott A. Stone and David G. Stanley have amassed a slate of diverse and creative projects that have taken them beyond just the television medium into home video, feature film and now music, making the company a huge multi-media success.
Just this year, Stone Stanley has had two hit prime-time series on Network Television. Following a successful run of “Celebrity Mole Hawaii” on ABC at the beginning of this year, Stone Stanley Entertainment is currently in production on a “Celebrity Mole Yucatan” to premiere later this year on ABC. On NBC, 23 million viewers tuned into the premiere episode of “Fame,” a summer-reality show featuring award-winning choreographer Debbie Allen and her search for the “ultimate talent.”
On cable, Stone Stanley Entertainment will re-launch “The Man Show” featuring new hosts, Joe Rogan (NBC’S Fear Factor) and Doug Stanhope on Comedy Central in August 2003. Also in September, “Oblivious” the hidden-camera game show hosted by Regan Burns, will begin its second season on Spike TV. Legends of the Hidden Temple," the CableAce award-winning kids' game show, is also currently airing on Nickelodeon's Games and Sports.
Other noteworthy Stone Stanley Entertainment programs include “Popstars,” for the WB; “Shop ‘Til You Drop,” which aired original episodes on three different networks; “Loveline,” MTV; “Winning Lines” for CBS; “Bobcat’s Big Ass Show” for FX; “I Can’t Believe You Said That!” for FOX Family Channel; “Superstar Television” for CBS ; and “Fun House” for FOX Kids Network.
Prior to establishing Stone Stanley Entertainment, Scott A. Stone was Senior Vice President, first run television at Lorimar Telepictures. He oversaw such syndicated hits as “Love Connection” and “The New Let’s Make a Deal” and served as executive producer on popular game shows like “Million Dollar Chance of a Lifetime” and “Perfect Match.”
David G. Stanley served as Senior Vice President of Warner Bros., Inc. and went on to become Executive Vice President of Lorimar Television. He oversaw the business and financial needs of a dozen network series including prime time soaps “Dallas” and “Falcon Crest” and the sitcoms “Perfect Strangers,” “Full House” and “Family Matters.”
# # #