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Thread: Dating game: Played out?

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    On the mat

    Dating game: Played out?

    Dating game: Played out?


    Who Wants to Be Another 'Millionaire'?: NBC's 'Love or Money' keeps to familiar themes.

    Ripping off a rival TV show has been as common as pigeons on a New York street.
    But copycatting reality shows has accelerated to such a degree that rival networks now can find themselves showing similar programs at the same time.

    Last summer, ABC launched "The Bachelor," a dating show with one guy picking from 20 women.

    Earlier this season, Fox launched "Joe Millionaire," a dating show with one guy picking from a pool of women. The twist was that the women were told he was filthy rich, when in fact he was a construction worker who got filthy on the job.

    Now NBC is preparing "For Love or Money," a dating show set in a mansion, where - have we heard this before? - a man picks from a pool of women.

    The hook? The woman the bachelor picks gets $1 million, but the guy doesn't know about the cash. NBC probably wouldn't have been out of line calling it "Jill Millionaire."

    Then there's Fox's ill-fated "Mr. Personality" and a promising CBS series called "Cupid," produced by "American Idol's" Simon Cowell, where a bachelorette picks from a group of guys.

    "This virus has spread about as fast as any cultural virus ever," said Prof. Robert Thompson, who runs Syracuse University's Center for Popular Television.

    Copying proven formats is an accepted way of doing business in Hollywood. When "Friends" hit big a decade ago, every network rushed wanna-be shows to the air - and failed.

    But with the seemingly unquenchable thirst of network programmers - and the audience - for reality shows, producers are going back to the same well more often than ever.

    Earlier this year, CBS sued ABC over the concept for "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" saying that idea mirrored "Survivor." CBS lost, and the ABC show died in the ratings.

    To that end, CBS-run UPN launches "America's Next Top Model" tonight. It's a "Survivor" for future models. Rather than eating bugs, they undergo Brazilian bikini waxes - on camera.

    In some ways, CBS' inability to stop ABC may have encouraged others to pluck parts from the successful shows and build new shows around them.

    "The great shows, the breakthrough shows, almost always have something in common with the shows that came before," said TV historian Tim Brooks, research director at Lifetime. "If you look at 'Laugh-In,' it was a comedy-variety. There had been comedy-varieties before hand, but the way they did it was just so different."

    But is the current crop of reality shows different enough?

    "If I had been the creator of 'The Bachelor,' I would have taken some issue with 'Joe Millionaire,' " said Thompson, who testified for CBS in the ABC case. "You want to rip off the thing that did really, really well. I think they've gone too far. I think the genre has gone too far."

    But that's up to viewers of "For Love or Money" to decide.

  2. #2

    Riding the crest with clones and rip-offs

    Television is a medium where certain "waves" are ridden to the gritty end. That's why it comes as no suprise that we now have a plethora of shows that eerily resemble each other. It takes a TV Guide and a crayon to keep things clear as to which show is which.

    In the early days of television, variety and quiz shows abounded. It got to such a competitive state that people were told to cheat on the quiz shows so that the show could maintain high ratings with a likable contestant.

    Our present day "Reality" shows are no different. Isn't "imitation the sincerest form of flattery?" Some make it and some don't. But they'll keep trying.

    This whole new batch is just 6 degrees away from its predecessors.

  3. #3
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    May 2003
    Northeast Mississippi, sitting by the lake...
    What concerns me is that when the media folks saturate the prime time spots with more of the same old, same old, that many potential viewers are lost. Remember when every night seemed to have Date Line on it's NBC schedule? For a while, more and more of the night time was taken over by news type feature programs. Eventually, I got bored with that and I'm sure many others did, too.

    How many times could we tune in to find out the answer to this burning question, "(Insert name of any ordinary household item here)-What you don't know about it might KILL YOU!! Do you know how to protect yourself from the dangerous effects of (name of household item). Want to know the startling results of our in depth report???

    Whether it is a concentrated wave of police shows, sitcoms, reality shows, and so on, many people will eventually decide they have better things to do than invest their time in more of the same. How much is too much?

    I love to watch television, but I have just about had it with the majority of the "reality" programming. I liked American Idol 2 because it featured actual talented singers who were also generally nice people. They were competitive, but the contestants did not seem to be teaching people how to get your way immorally.

    I worry that many of the current reality shows and competitions encourage lying, cheating, promiscuity, and other generally bad behaviors in order to "win the competition at any cost." I am not sure about the safety messages they send either. Just how healthy and bacteria free can it be to consume various organs and other body parts of animals? Also, how many easily influenced young people will try to copy the dangerous stunts they see on shows like Fear Factor and Jackass?

    Anyway, that's my rants for today. Hopefully, the tv network execs will one day figure out that there are enough people in our country to enjoy a mixture of shows, especially in prime time. I would love to have a better selection to choose from each evening. I realize they find a money making idea and try to make an cheap imitation of it, but surely their companies are filled with creative people who can do more than just copy off the next guy.

    Didn't our elementary school teachers tell us not to copy off our neighbor's paper? Obviously, that lesson was lost somewhere along the line.
    Just take a breath and relax...everything's going to be just fine...

  4. #4
    FORT Fan
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Northeast Mississippi, sitting by the lake...
    I can see it now...the next wave of dating shows will be combined with Fear Factor...

    The scene opens with our bachelor du jour lovingly sharing a plate of squiggling meal worms with his date as they prepare to bungee jump off the balcony of their sea side mansion.

    America will vote off one bachelorette each week and the rest of the women will then be forced to compete for either money, a recording contract, or the chance to come back as the star of the next copy cat dating show to come down the pike.

    The grande finale of the show will include a dishy discussion of all the back stage cat fighting and then we see the happy couple jet propelled off a rickety boat ramp toward the sunset and their fifteen minutes of fame(or until they break up or land in the hospital, whatever comes first).
    Just take a breath and relax...everything's going to be just fine...

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