Spike TV to air new 'Joe Schmo' pseudo-reality TV program
By Reality TV World staff, 07/17/2003
TNN, the soon-to-be "Spike TV" cable channel, has announced it's first reality series. Kinda. Premiering September 7 at 9PM ET, "The Joe Schmo Show' will feature a law-school dropout named Matt Kennedy Gould who thinks he's competing for $100,000 on a "Big Brother"-style reality show called "Lap of Luxury," but is in fact the victim of an elaborate prank designed to torture him. All the other "contestants" (and the "host") are secretly paid actors, and they are all conspiring to make Joe's time on the show miserable.
According to the Redlands Daily Facts newspaper, the poor guy was even seen weeping in several scenes in the promotional clip shown to journalists. The The NY Post also adds that the show leans heavily on reality TV cliches and includes a smarmy, overbearing host, an elaborate dismissal ceremony, the trying-too-hard-to-be-your-buddy guy, the bitchy young girl, the belligerent jerk and the grizzled retired Marine.
The Daily Facts also asked the cast the obvious question -- doesn't this strike anyone as just the least bit cruel? "We ran the whole gamut of emotions,' said Brian Keith Etheridge, one of the show's performers and writers. "We took that into consideration." And did series producers Scott Stone and David Stanley, who are also responsible for such comparatively "high-brow" reality shows like "The Mole," worry that they might give potential future participants in such programs reason to reconsider? "Have you met some of these reality contestants?'" replied Stanley.