Reality runs rampant
By Joe Schlosser -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/2/2000 8:00:00 PM
Here are some of the more than 200 reality formats being pitched in Hollywood or that have already been picked up by the broadcast networks:
The Mole: ABC was the first network to officially announce plans for a Survivor-like reality special, signing a pact with Stone Stanley last week to produce The Mole. Based on a popular Belgian TV format, for nine weeks, The Mole will follow 10 contestants working as a team to accomplish a series of "outrageous" tasks. For every task accomplished, contestants will win more money. The unique twist is that one of the 10 contestants is a mole who attempts to sabotage the team's efforts. ABC is expected to air the nine-episode series in midseason. (Stone Stanley)
The Hairdresser: Hidden cameras and microphones in a salon monitor everyday conversations collectedàla HBO's Taxicab Confessions. It will air daily in Germany, Holland and Austria. When strung together, the conversations are filled with all the juicy things people apparently blurt out while getting clipped. (Endemol Entertainment)
The Bus: This reality format takes place on a 125-foot-long double-decker bus. Contestants live on the top deck; the production team and control room work out of the lower one. The bus drives around the country and puts the contestants into various contests. (Endemol)
The Runner: Oscar winners Matt Damon and Ben Affleck serve as executive producers. The Runner follows a single contestant attempting to cross the country while trying to avoid being identified by viewers. ABC has ordered 13 episodes and will air it later this season. (Touchstone Television and LivePlanet)
Chains of Love: In this Dutch format, five men are literally chained to one woman for five days, and, after each day, she cuts one guy loose. The remaining contestant wins a date with her. Special house and extra-large bed needed for this one. (Endemol)
The Flat: Five women, all with ambitions to become entertainment celebrities, live together in one home, and cameras follow as they audition for roles as singers and dancers. The Dutch version allows one male contestant to apply, via the Internet, to be a "houseboy." (Endemol)
Pop Stars: Similar to The Flat and ABC's current series Making the Band, this is a New Zealand/Australian format that follows five young women who want to be the next Spice Girls. The project is under consideration by several networks. (Stone Stanley Entertainment)
Boot Camp: FOX is in negotiations for the format that places everyday people-50 men and 50 women-in a specially designed boot camp where they will compete until there is one male and one female winner. The camp will be run by former Special Forces agents, producers say. (LMNO Productions and Granada Media)
Since You've Been Gone: The format is somewhat similar to Big Brother. Contestants are shut off from society for a week, without access to phones, TV, radio or the Internet. Then they are brought on stage to guess what transpired that week in a comedic setting. FOX is interested. (LMNO Productions/Granada)-J.S.
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