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Old 02-26-2003, 12:11 AM   #1
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Reality TV Going Too Far?

Well, it's a little late for that question, but I thought this was interesting, since there seems to be a fair amount of controversy over it.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A southern senator Tuesday accused a major U.S. television network of peddling "bigotry for big bucks" by planning a "reality" show based on "The Beverly Hillbillies," which portrayed a family of simple country folks suddenly transplanted to an upscale Los Angeles suburb.

In a fiery speech on the Senate floor, Georgia Democratic Sen. Zell Miller called on CBS and its chief executive, Leslie Moonves, to cancel the program -- which has already sparked protests in rural areas where casting is being done.

"What CBS and CEO Moonves propose to do with this cracker comedy is bigotry, pure and simple. Bigotry for big bucks," Miller said. "They know that the only minority left in this country that you can make fun of and demean and humiliate ... are hillbillies in particular and rural people in general."

Like the premise of the long-running CBS hit comedy "The Beverly Hillbillies" about a poor mountaineer and his kin who strike it rich on oil, the idea for the new "reality" series is to transplant a real-life family from a humble home in the backwoods to a mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

Also like the original comedy, which aired from 1962 to 1971, the show would try to capitalize on the fish-out-of-water dynamics between the family members and their new upscale environs and neighbors.

Critics of the show, however, have branded it a "hick hunt" designed to hold poor, rural people up to ridicule.

Groups in Appalachia and the South, where casting for the show has been focused, have picketed a CBS affiliate, launched letter-writing campaigns and taken out newspaper ads around the country to try to pressure the network to back down.

"CBS, the once proud and honorable broadcasting company, ... it seems has become just another money grubber," Miller said, attacking Moonves as "a man who obviously believes that network television is an ethics-free zone and it is acceptable for big profits to always come ahead of good taste."

CBS executives met with rural activists earlier this month to discuss the controversy but gave no indication they were ready to cancel the project -- which remains without a cast five months after plans for it were first unveiled.
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:15 AM   #2
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I think when we had yuppies eating "horse rectums," we passed the point of no return.

Japan used to have "contestants" do stunts above boiling water in the early 1990s--and they would sometimes fall in. Reality TV is not "reality" in the slightest--merely a postmodern form of sadism.

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Old 02-26-2003, 12:31 AM   #3
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its cheap with high profits. i dont think it will ever leave entirely now.
someone will always be willing to watch and it doesnt take many of them to turn a profit on this stuff.
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:37 AM   #4
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they are here to stay until the ratings fall drastically, but even if they dont get super-ratings, they are still far more cheaper to produce than paying brain-dead sitcom stars like David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc and Kelsee Grammer $1 or $2 million per episode...

I've always thought reality was overrated, but melon is right, it's not even reality it's sadism
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:03 PM   #5
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Has anyone heard what the network plan to do with this family once the show has finished its season? Sounds like a great idea to pull some struggling family out of their rut and make a show so everyone can have a good old laugh at them (yes thats sarcasm, who on earth will find that entertaining?), but more of a concern is what will happen to them afterward? Sure it will make a great social experiment (sarcasm again) to document their adjustment to a life of luxury, and it will happen if the show is dedicated to this. When they have adjusted, where will they be? I doubt they will be assisted in getting back to a life without the financial aid of the network. Its ridiculous and lacks vision.
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Old 02-27-2003, 01:19 AM   #6
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Ahh thinks back to the Simpsons mocking realityTV... mmm realityTV...

Next on 'Touch the Stove!'
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Old 02-27-2003, 01:24 AM   #7
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Reality programming is cheaper to produce than comedy and drama but the gap is narrowing. I read an article recently where a network exec was quoted as saying that reality shows aren't so cheap to produce (I think he meant "anymore").

But the biggest factor the networks are having to deal with is that reality programming doesn't work well (if at all) in syndication, therefore it has no real re-sale value. If you've got a Seinfeld or Friends, you can sell it for years of reruns; Indeed, you better sell it into syndication if you expect to see any profits at all.
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Old 02-27-2003, 03:12 AM   #8
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Why do I get the feeling that in a few short years, "The Running Man" will be the next great show?
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Old 02-27-2003, 07:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Has anyone heard what the network plan to do with this family once the show has finished its season? Sounds like a great idea to pull some struggling family out of their rut and make a show so everyone can have a good old laugh at them (yes thats sarcasm, who on earth will find that entertaining?), but more of a concern is what will happen to them afterward? Sure it will make a great social experiment (sarcasm again) to document their adjustment to a life of luxury, and it will happen if the show is dedicated to this. When they have adjusted, where will they be? I doubt they will be assisted in getting back to a life without the financial aid of the network. Its ridiculous and lacks vision.
I know. That's what bothers me about it.
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