Will Oprah Change the Competitive Reality Television Game?
One of the reasons I’ve not been particularly interested in reality television, particularly competition shows like Idol or Top Chef is because despite having experts within their respective fields, most shows lack the Oprah-like ability to guarantee success of their winners. And for the record, I don’t think spend the rest of your career singing, “Where is the Love” on a cruise ship denotes success and it certainly seems an especially cruel punishment for the crime of appearing on Idol. Reality television, from this outsider and casual viewer’s experience seems not about the destination, but the journey. This seems antithetical to the goals pursued by contestants willing to be snarked on and humiliated for the viewing pleasure of millions. Whatever superstars in their own industries reality show hosts and judges might be, rarely does their influence have the grasp of the queen of daytime television.
Wait, that’s Oprah, right? But the game changes when Oprah puts her name and unparalleled power behind the venture. More importantly, I’m kind of interested in seeing the show. That already makes the show a game changer in my book and it hasn’t even aired a single episode yet! Oprah’s Search for the Next Top TV Star is the name of the show and no it doesn’t end with her looking into a mirror and pronouncing the reflection the winner. Hosted by reality television vet Carson Kressley and enduring tabloid personality Nancy O’Dell, the ten hopefuls have solid examples of how to leverage scraps of talent, bravado and a can’t-take-no-for-answer attitude into a viable C list career. In addition with its roster touting inclusiveness reflecting disability, race, size, gender and so forth, perhaps the show might actually be interesting.
That said, since it is reality television, I’m not sure even Oprah can uplift the genre out of its swampy depths. Then again, she is often credited when cleaning up daytime television! So, are you ready for your OWN show? Here’s a preview of the show. Okay, reality television fanatics – I know you’re out there; you search for “Kirstie Alley 2010” like it’s your job – are going to bench your Friday night plans and watch the show? Do you think Oprah can change the reality television game?