Reality TV floodgates opening for summer
by David Bauder
Originally published May 30, 2005
Get ready for rocker Tommy Lee as an undergrad, two separate dance contests and apprentice rock stars, apprentice chefs, apprentice fashion designers, apprentice scholars, apprentice slackers and apprentice Hiltons.
With your favorite series hibernating for the summer, television networks are uncorking a flood of reality programming.
Broadcast networks want to do more than show reruns all summer - but they don't want to spend much money, either. The result is reality-clogged schedules. If the networks are lucky, one or two might capture the public's imagination.
Summer starts soon; WB begins its heavily promoted Beauty & the Geek on Wednesday. As the title suggests, the series takes socially challenged smart guys and couples them with dimwitted lookers. The couple that works best together in various contests could share $250,000, and who knows what else?
Other new series in the works:
Hell's Kitchen stars tightly wound British chef Gordon Ramsay, who's opening a new Los Angeles restaurant and chooses between contestants who want to cook there. Premieres tonight on Fox.
Dancing With the Stars will pair six celebrities, such as boxer Evander Holyfield, with professional dancers to compete in a ballroom-dancing contest. Premieres Wednesday on ABC.
Hit Me Baby exhumes has-been music stars who try to show a live audience they still have what it takes. The Knack, Vanilla Ice, Cameo, Tiffany, Wang Chung, Loverboy and Arrested Development are among the acts competing for charity in the NBC series, which premieres Thursday.
The Scholar will feature bright students competing for a college scholarship. Starts June 6 on ABC.
Fire Me ... Please films two people starting new jobs on the same day doing everything they can to be fired by midday. The person who wins will earn more than he could ever hope for from the job. Starts June 7 on CBS.
The Cut brings 16 aspiring fashion designers to compete for a job with Tommy Hilfiger. Starts June 9 on CBS.
I Want to Be a Hilton. Fox still has Paris, but NBC has matriarch Kathy Hilton guiding 14 young contestants through the New York society scene. Whoever emerges as the winner gets to live the life of a rich person for a year. Debuts June 21.
The Princes of Malibu is an Osbournes-style show that follows music producer David Foster, his new wife and adult stepsons Brandon and Brody Jenner, who move into Foster's 22-acre waterfront estate. The Fox series premieres July 10.
Rock Star: INXS. Super-producer Mark Burnett is behind this contest, where amateur singers compete for a job with the Australian rock band INXS. The winner goes on tour and records an album with the band. Premieres July 11 on CBS.
Meet Mister Mom sends stay-at-home moms on vacation and leaves clueless dads in charge of the house. Mom gets to watch the fun on closed-circuit TV. NBC, premieres Aug. 2.
Tommy Lee Goes to College trails the rock star as he enrolls in the University of Nebraska - trying out for the marching band and cramming for exams. It starts Aug. 16 on NBC. http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/lifestyle/bal-to.summertv30may30,1,203843.story?coll=bal-artslife-today