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FOX to air 'Apprentice'-like 'The Partner' lawyer competition reality series


By Reality TV World staff, 04/01/2004 

FOX and Rocket Science Laboratories, the producers behind such programs as Temptation Island, Joe Millionaire, and My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, have announced plans for a new upcoming Apprentice-like law firm reality competition show called The Partner.

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The latest in a string of apparent Apprentice inspired series that must be resulting in Apprentice producer Mark Burnett having flashbacks to Summer 2000 when competing networks announced plans for a handful of series similar to his then brand-new smash hit Survivor series, the FOX series will center around a group of recent law school graduates competing for a position as a "partner" in a major law firm.

According to Daily Variety, the hour-long show, based on an idea by FOX reality programming executive Mike Darnell, will be eight to ten episodes in length and, similar to NBC's The Apprentice, feature two competing teams. Unlike Apprentice however, rather than be divided by gender, the composition of the teams will be determined by the prestige of the contestants' law schools -- with Ivy Leaguers forming one team and graduates of "less prestigious" schools forming the other.

Each week, the two teams will compete as prosecutors and defenders in mock trial cases that will be presented before a jury of real people which will have been selected by the contestants. After hearing the arguments, the jury will determine the winner of the trial, with the losing team having to appear before a fictitious judge. "It doesn't matter who's right or wrong in the case, it's who does a better job arguing," Darnell explained to the paper.

Whether the judge will actually get to determine who gets eliminated is one of the program details that is still being determined -- as is the identity of exactly who will serve as the judge, although the producers are said to be in talks with numerous well-known attorneys. There's also no word as to whether something a hokey phrase such as "You're disbarred" will be uttered by the judge, or whether, similar to Donald Trump, Rocket Science is rushing to attempt to trademark any such phrase.

In addition to the judges role, established lawyers are also expected to function as "advisors" to each of the two teams, which will be whittled each episode until the series finale culminates with the last two remaining candidates facing off in a head-to-head case.

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