Darned If You Do | EW.com


Darned If You Do

Bill Cosby's "Kids Say the Darndest Things" premiered on Friday night to CBS's highest regular-series ratings in almost three years

(for that time slot), and you can bet network execs took notice. This revival of the classic Art Linkletter program is the kind of show budget-sensitive programmers like to see succeed: There’s only one star to pay and no expensive sets to build.

In the tradition of cloning cheap “reality” shows like “Darndest,” other networks will undoubtedly try to duplicate CBS’s hit. Because it would be unfair to predict this trend and then offer no help, EW Online suggests five potential reality series that are sure to pull in the darndest ratings.

Senior Citizens Say the Darndest Things – In this real-life geriatric “Beavis and Butt-head,” two Florida retirees are taped sitting in front of a TV, cracking wise over the Weather Channel. Here’s a sample riff:

MEL: “Uh-oh. Looks like a cold front’s comin’.”

STAN: “Heh-heh. You said ‘colon.’”

MEL: “No I didn’t, I said ‘comin’.”

STAN: “Oh. Nothing funny about that.”

Teenagers Say the Darndest Things – Kind of a misnomer, as it’s more like ‘Teenagers Roll the Darndest Eyes’ when Dick Cavett raps with today’s teens. It’s laffs aplenty when Cavett attempts to provoke adolescents into responding to his bon mots, and all they do is shrug, snort derisively and mutter, “Whatever.”

Larry King Says the Darndest Things – If producers are looking to spotlight preschool-like ramblings but don’t like working with children, why not hire Larry King? Imagine the late-night talker reading aloud the scattershot and unrelated entries from his USA Today column, “My Two Cents.” Hearing such oddly tangential statements as “Broadway is having a booming winter, and it deserves it … Whenever I can, I still watch Columbo repeats on A&E … The funniest commercials on TV right now are for Snickers,” viewers get all the fun of watching the result of misfiring synapses, and producers don’t have to wipe any young noses.

Sock Darners Darn the Darndest Things” – Bill Cosby and precocious kids be damned: Many marketers who believe in the power of buzzwords would argue that it’s not so much the content of the CBS show that attracted viewers, but its snappy title, which should be exploited to the max. Why couldn’t the word “darndest” be the “extreme” of the next millennium?

New York City Cab Drivers Say the Darndest Things – As half of the darned things they say aren’t in English, and the other half are obscenities, this show will rope in two critical audiences: Illegal aliens and Quentin Tarantino fans. Talk about your crossover appeal!