According to TV Guide Online, NBC dedicated a significant part of its July 24 presentation during the TV critics' tour to its new reality show Average Joe. The fall-season show, to be hosted by Celebrity Mole Hawaii winner/comedienne Kathy Griffin, featues a twist on the normal dating-show format, with a beautiful woman being surrounded by a cast of geeky, nerdy guys trying to win her affection. (Of course, many women may find the show uncomfortably close to reality for their own tastes....)

The "beautiful woman" will be 25-year-old Melana Scantlin, former Miss Missouri 2002, former MIss Teen Missouri 1995, a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader from 1996 (when she was 18) to 2002 ... and one of the contestants on NBC's Meet My Folks reality-dating show in February 2003. Apparently NBC has a hard time finding fresh contestants for its reality programs; Eric Ferch, whom Melana's parents surprisngly chose as her date on that show (to Melana's obvious disappointment, as she seemed to favor Eric Apple), has also been brought back by NBC, as one of Erin Brodie's potential suitors on For Love Or Money 2.

Three of the contestants vying for Melana's affection were also featured, and they lived down to their advance billing. Griifith, however, seemed annoyed that they were merely normal (or, perhaps, a little subnormal): "They actually weren't hideous enough for me. I wanted to see maybe a eunuch, maybe somebody without an eye, someone with uncontrollable diarrhea... " We are unsure whether Kathy thought that Melana's suitors should have been more like that description, or whether Kathy was merely expressing her own preferences in men. Perhaps she should get in contact with the people casting Fox's "copycat" show Love Spell, which is also searching for unattractive men to pursue a beautiful woman.