January 9, 2010

this post will probably upset a lot of reality show devotees, but it’s high time you realized the truth about your precious format.

A game show related blog broke the story yesterday that Fox’s OUR LITTLE GENIUS will NOT be airing after all.  It’s not because the show didn’t test well.  It’s not because Fox couldn’t find a timeslot, and it’s not because the show wouldn’t meet its budget.  No.   The reason was, and there is no other way to say this:  the children were being coached, and given  questions that they COULD answer to guarantee a $10,000 minimum prize.

Have we learned NOTHING since the quiz show scandals of the 1950’s?  This is RIGGING.  I don’t care how you spin this.  If GENIUS hit the air, America would have been fooled AGAIN.  As an aspiring game show creator, I am appalled that Mark Burnett was willing to stoop to such a tactic just to make “exciting television” or feed Fox’s coffers with high ratings.

Mr. Burnett is LUCKY I’m not in charge of the FCC.  If I were, and this news item came my way, I would demand that all of Mr. Burnett’s shows be pulled from the airwaves, and each show scrutinized with a finer toothed comb than what was used when Jack Barry and his colleagues were investigated.  And, no word of a lie, each show that even came CLOSE to doing what was done with GENIUS would be gone for all time.  That’s right CBS, you’d lose your precious SURVIVOR, and I would not lose one minute’s sleep over this.

Ah, you say, but what about shows like OPERATION REPO on trutv?  Wake up!  My colleagues at work were discussing this two days ago.  One colleague, who has FIRST HAND witness experience, says that OPEARTION REPO is about as realistic as an episode of ALF.  It’s all staged.  So what’s a network that promotes actuality doing airing a show that is 95 percent STAGED?  Again, the answer is simple.  They are playing on the willingness of the American public to believe that everything on “reality” television actually happens, and they want the revenue from the ratings.  They don’t care that you’re being fooled.  They want you to be like mindless zombies.

Again I say wake up, America.  This garbage being handed to you is as real as a four dollar bill.  And you’re going to keep getting this phoney baloney reality crap UNTIL you start speaking up, writing to the networks, and demand QUALITY programming that promotes POSITIVE values, and isn’t out to deceive you.  And as for you, Mr. Burnett, if you EVER do this to the American public again, we WILL see to it that you won’t even be able to get a job cleaning the bathrooms at a public acess station.

HUGE UPDATE:  It looks like the heat is on for Mark Burnett and company.  According to Buzzerblog.com, and confirmed in the New York Times, one of the parents of one of the slated contestants wrote a letter to the FCC about the shady goings-on at OUR LITTLE GENIUS.  The FCC, for it’s part has now called for an investigation into what went on, and what else might be going on with Mark Burnett Productions, should the FCC conclude that GENIUS was in fact rigged (I don’t see how they won’t-the evidence supplied to them is pretty damning).  Could this be the beginning of the end for the fake reality genre that has choked the creativity out of TV?  Only time will tell,  While I take no delight in the downfall of others, all I can say is it’s about time.



  1. Amazing post, Andy! Hammer hit nail head! 😀

    In case you didn’t know, this is the level that certain Viacom stations (eg, GSN, TVLand) have sunk to, and they have no intention of ever backing out.

    • Oh, I know, believe me I know. My GSN viewing is shockingly nonexistent, and my TVLand viewing is down to ALL IN THE FAMILY. That’s about it.

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