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Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg admits to being huge reality TV fan

By Wade Paulsen, 06/16/2004 

First Michelle Pfeiffer, then Steven Spielberg ... looks like reality TV may have a foothold in Hollywood that extends beyond the Osbourne household and The Surreal Life.

During interviews to promote his new movie The Terminal (which stars Tom Hanks and opens June 18), Academy-Award winning director Steven Spielberg (Jaws, ET, Shindler's List) told USA Today that he was a huge fan of reality-competition TV shows. "I've seen every single season of Survivor and every season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette," said Spielberg, "and I'm starting my second season of For Love or Money."

We wonder if Spielberg's enthusiasm for Survivor might have played a role in the decision by DreamWorks SKG, the movie and TV production company founded by Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffin, to launch production of its first reality-competition show, The Contender, in conjunction with Survivor executive producer Mark Burnett as well as former Rocky star Sylvester Stallone. At least Spielberg won't have to frequent spoiler sites to find out who wins The Contender.

Frankly, we aren't sure how a person with seven children (one from his first marriage to Amy Irving, five from his current marriage to Kate Capshaw, and a stepdaughter from Capshaw's first marriage) finds ANY time to watch ANY TV shows -- but we admit that we would be fascinated to hear more comments from Spielberg about any or all of these shows. We expect that executive producers Burnett, Mike Fleiss (Bachelor, Bachelorette) and Bruce Nash (For Love Or Money) would share our enthusiasm.

In particular, we are interested in Spielberg's feelings about the dating shows. We wonder if he is fascinated by the antics of the villains and villainesses, as Michelle Pfeiffer was while watching the original Joe Millionaire ... or whether he tuned in the original For Love Or Money just because he liked Erin Brodie....


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