Spike TV's 'Joe Schmo' fake reality TV show premiering September 2
By Reality TV World staff, 09/02/2003
It's the ultimate reality show...yet it isn't real at all. Spike TV, The First Network For Men, and Stone Stanley Entertainment (the producers of ABC's "The Mole" and more) will take the reality show concept to the next level with "The Joe Schmo Show," where only one contestant is real. This next wave in reality programming premieres with a two-hour event on Tuesday, September 2 (9-11 PM ET/PT) and then can be seen in it's regular time slot on Tuesdays (9-10 PM ET/PT).
"The Joe Schmo Show" is one of television's biggest and riskiest experiments. Playing into men's appetites for competition, humor and beautiful women, "The Joe Schmo Show" combines elements from many reality shows found on TV...except with one huge secret -- only one of the contestants is real. Everyone else on the show, from the host to the other 'players', are actors following a pre-determined outline.
How would a naive reality contestant react to encountering a show filled with every outlandish element reality television has showcased? How far can producers push this 'reality,' and the ensuing ridiculous competitions? Will the actors be convincing enough? Will our unsuspecting "Joe" figure it all out? And if "Joe" does figure it out, how will "Joe" respond?
Matt Kennedy Gould was the unsuspecting "contestant" and the ultimate wildcard element that the entire show revolves around. Think middle. Middle class. Middle America and middle of the road. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Matt had recently dropped out of law school and was a pizza deliveryman until he figured out what he wants to do with his life. He is the only non-actor of the house. Matt Kennedy Gould is... "Joe Schmo."
As the experiment opens, Gould thinks he's a contestant on "Lap of Luxury," a new reality show in which he would live the life of the super-rich, pampered beyond his wildest dreams in a gorgeous, sprawling mansion while vying with eight other contestants for a grand prize of one hundred thousand dollars. As on many reality programs, the show features reward challenges. On "Lap of Luxury," these challenges are called "Pampering Competitions," games in which contestants "compete" for high-priced luxury items including flat screen televisions, vacations or simply the use of the mansion's master suite. The fake show also includes "Lord of the Manor Immunity Showdowns," in which contestants compete for immunity to avoid being "evicted" from the house. Both the "Pampering Competitions" and the "Immunity Showdowns" are parodies of similar elements in 'eviction style' reality shows and are completely rigged by the writers and producers.
At the end of each typical episode, the "Lap of Luxury" pseudo-reality show holds a "Riches to Rags Eviction Ceremony," a "ritual" where castmates vote to evict one of their own. The evicted contestant's "Lap of Luxury Collectors Plate" is tossed into the fireplace, and the host deadpans: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, (fill in name), you are dead to us!" This over-dramatic ritual pokes fun at the melodrama of every major reality show, using extreme close-ups, histrionic music, and ridiculous, gut-wrenching moments of tension.
In addition to surrounding Matt with stereotypical reality show contestants- The Buddy, The Asshole, The Grizzled Veteran, The Schemer, The Rich Bitch, The Gay Guy, The Virgin and The Quack -- series producers conspired to subject Matt nearly every over-the-top reality competition the networks have dared... along with a few too risky to have been tried before. Designed to test Matt's moral fortitude, patience and sanity the competitions include: Hands on a High-Priced Hooker; A Meal Not Quite Fit for King; Battle of the Sexes and Money, Money, Money, Honey.
This weekly one-hour innovative new series is produced exclusively for the First Network for Men by one of television's leading independent production companies, Stone Stanley Entertainment ("The Mole," "Fame," "The Man Show"). "The Joe Schmo Show" was created by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who also serve as writers and executive producers with David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone and Anthony Ross. Peilin Chou is the Executive in Charge of Production for Spike TV.
Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 86 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks owns and operates the cable and television programming services MTV: Music Television, MTV2, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, VH1 and CMT: Country Music Television, as well as The Digital Suite from MTV Networks, a package of thirteen digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.