Saturday, May 16, 2009

Almost on a Reality Show

For the past two months, we have been in talks with a reality show. Originally, this was all hush-hush and top secret but now that we've declined, I can tell you. My husband and I, along with my daughter, future son-in-law and his parents were almost on a big-name cable network reality show! In fact, this very weekend we would have been filming at some undisclosed, hot, probably tropical location. We were not going to have contact with the outside world for five days. You can't believe the hoops we've all jumped through--we each had to make videos of ourselves and overnight them. Then, we had to fill out very loooooong questionnaires with questions like: "Name three odd things about you" and "What is something no one knows about you." You know, stuff that they'd use against us on TV. Anyway, we were game until we saw the contract. That killed the deal. It was too probing about anything and everything. Our attorney looked it over and felt strongly that we shouldn't sign on the bottom line. So, it was disappointing at first but I can't wait to see the show when it airs. It was a pilot so it may not be picked up. We'll have to wait and see...


  1. Well, that's just too intriguing to leave it at that. I want more info. What was the show supposed to be about? And how did they find you?

    You should write an article about the experience.

  2. I have kept all my notes and was definitely going to write about it. I suppose I still could.

    I'm not sure what I can say because I don't want to spoil it for viewers and I won't say which network. We accidentally saw a working title on their paperwork that we weren't supposed to see so I won't mention what it said, but I can say it was a competition between two sets of engaged couples and their respective parents.

    Whoever won would have gotten their wedding and honeymoon paid for--possibly up to $30k! I could tell it was going to be outdoorsy stuff because they asked us to answer yes or no to questions like: Are you good at skiing? Swimming? Gardening? Horse back riding? changing a tire? Sewing? Cooking? Random things like that. Some of my answers were "yes" and some were "no." It would have been hilarious because my husband and I are both extremely competitive with each other not to mention everyone else! They absolutely loved my daughter and her fiance--they're both so fun, cute and talented. They were disappointed it didn't work out and so were we. Would have been there (wherever) now! Weird.

  3. I've no doubt your family is lovely, but I so commend you for having the integrity to decline a chance to humiliate yourself for the amusement of others. (Do you get that I loathe 'reality tv'?)

    As writers, we should all be against the phenomenon. Networks fill airtime cheaply with this drivel AND they are doing it without hiring professional WRITERS!

    If I want reality, I'll turn the TV OFF!

  4. Interesting sidebar, Emily. Yes, your loathing for reality TV came through loud and clear. LOL I think many share your view.

    We were willing to humiliate ourselves because my daughter is a dancer/actress/aerialist and her fiance is an engineer-turned-actor. We hoped it would help further their careers. The exposure for them was more important than the wedding money. We would have done it for their sake if the contract had not been so ridiculous. Plus, I think it would have been a great adventure and terrific writing material.

    But, as you said, you see real reality when the television set is off. I have to admit I love Celebrity Apprentice and Survivor, though. So, shoot me.

  5. I like reality TV too. Survivor, Big Brother and the Amazing shoot me too.

  6. Shucks, I'd never shoot anyone.

    And nothing is ever wasted on a writer so I see the appeal in your case. And no doubt your book would have gained more traction from the exposure.

    But in the interest of your daughter's and son-in-law's careers, you might also consider that networks fill up the airtime using reality formats WITHOUT using equity actors and dangle prizes rather than pay the performers what they would make on conventional programming.

    Call me old-fashioned.

    (That said, I have to confess to a guilty fascination with DANCING WITH THE STARS.)