CBS orders three new reality series for broadcast later this year
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/14/2008
With Writers Guild of America strike showing few signs of ending anytime soon, CBS announced it has ordered three new reality series -- Game Show in My Head, Secret Talents of the Stars and America's Top Dog -- for broadcast later this year.
Game Show in My Head is a Punk'd-like hidden-camera game show that will follow contestants as they go about their daily life in the city before being prompted via an earpiece by a host back in the studio, who will instruct them to "perform crazy, outrageous and often embarrassing tasks" in public for the chance to win "big money." If they fail to perform one task, they'll go home empty-handed.
CBS had ordered a pilot for the British import from Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg's Katalyst Films back in March 2007, however that was before Katalyst signed a "wide-reaching TV deal" with CBS Corp. last May, giving CBS and The CW a "first look" at unscripted projects from the production company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Katalyst is co-producing Game Show in My Head with Fox21 and the U.K.-based Hat Trick Productions, with Kutcher, Goldberg, Jimmy Mulville, Leon Wilde, and Karey Burke serving as executive producers.
Secret Talents of the Stars -- an America's Got Talent-esque competition series for celebrities -- will follow stars as they showcase their "hidden talents" in-front of a professional judging panel, with home viewers voting on who remains in the tournament-style competition. The show will air twice-a-week, with the celebrities showcasing their talents during performance-episode broadcasts and viewer-voting results being revealed during results show broadcasts.
Robyn Nash and Don Weiner are executive producing Secret Talent of the Stars for Magic Molehill Productions.
America's Top Dog -- the working title for an America's Next Top Model-like competition series for canines -- will follow a group of "pageant dogs" who will live together in a house with their respective owners and compete in a series of challenges for the chance to win a cash prize.
Magic Molehill is also producing America's Top Dog, with R.J. Cutler, Stu Schreiberg and Stephen Kroopnick serving as executive producers.
The WGA went on strike when the organization's three-year contract -- covering 12,000 movie and television writers -- expired on October 31 at midnight after more than three months of negotiations between the organization and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) proved unsuccessful.
The WGA's last strike occurred in 1988 and lasted 22 weeks, costing the industry an estimated $500 million.
Game Show in My Head, Secret Talents of the Stars and America's Top Dog represent the first reality series ordered by CBS since the strike began, according to The Reporter.