Fansofrealitytv.com – In this day and age, if you think you can build a better mousetrap, there’s bound to be a place for you on cable.
The USA Network is teaming up with the Home Shopping Network to provide just that. In a move that sounds as much like they’re marketing the Home Shopping Network as any product that might be discovered, the two networks are launching a new reality show, “Made in the USA”, that pits inventors and entrepreneurs in a competition to win the favor of judges and ultimately a chance to show their stuff on HSN.
“Everyone at one point in their life has had an idea or invention that they thought could be the next big thing,” said Libby Hansen, the USA network’s vice president of alternative series and specials. “This show will give innovators across the country a chance to prove themselves, and their ideas.”
“Made in the USA,” which premieres this fall, will put inventors through a series of challenges designed to simulate “real-life challenges that inventors deal with in getting their product out to the public,” although why they need to simulate such challenges that most of these inventors likely went through them in real life already is not explained.
It sounds, however, as the challenges will largely revolve around making it through the hurdles of getting a product onto the Home Shopping Network.
"Coming up with a great product idea is just the beginning,” said HSN president Marty Nealon. “This show will take viewers on a journey with inventor hopefuls as they and their products are put to the test in the real day-to-day activities at our HSN headquarters and soundstages.”
The contestants and their inventions or ideas will be judged on a variety of things, from usefulness of the invention, to style, to marketability. The contestants will be eliminated each week, and the winner receives a contract with the Home Shopping Network.
The judges include:
Nolan Bushnell, father of “Pong” – still available on older-model cell phones – and the Atari Corporation.
Joy Mangano, inventor of "The Miracle Mop"
Karim Rashid, billed as an “industrial designer and cultural shaper.”
The show will also feature “guest experts” ranging from Lonnie Johnson – a rocket scientist who invented the Supersoaker – to Robert Verdi, host of the E! network’s “Fashion Police” who’s there to critique style, to singer Patti LaBelle. LaBelle, according to a press release, brings expertise as a “celebrity pitch person who knows how to infuse personality into the selling equation.”
The show is being produced by Ken Mok, who is creator and executive producer of “America's Next Top Model,” which airs on UPN.