Word came down the pipe today (via TMZ) that the producers behind the Gremlin-like Real Housewives franchise are seeking out good Christian… uh… ladies for a reality series based on ABC’s GCB. In the era of reality proliferation, it’s become a go-to to rip off the hard work of TV writers and reproduce their ideas cheaply by training the lens on a coterie of overindulged, under-restrained aspiring singers and actresses. Indeed, it’s exactly how Real Housewives was born: the small-screen version of Athena springing from the head of Zeus, only replace the goddess of wisdom with Vicki Gunvalson and Zeus with Teri Hatcher naked in a bush. But what about turning the tables? Wouldn’t it be exciting to see a reality show milked for all its dramatic potential in the scripted world? Below, I offer up a few suggestions, then you can chip in your own in the comments.
The Amazing Race
One of the few consistently exciting reality shows left on TV, imagine how thrilling TAR could be with a Terra Nova-sized budget. I personally want to see an entire episode from the perspective of the bunny athletes in season 19. It would be Luck but with a hoppy ending.
America’s Next Top Model
Admittedly, this concept has already failed several times (Models Inc., 2009’s two-episode wonder The Beautiful Life), but I continue to hold out hope that a show about neurotic twig-people with wildly disproportionate bodies will really take off. If Baywatch can make it, why not models? And since Tyra Banks (a.k.a. “Shake Ya Body” chanteuse and author of ANTM-inspired YA series Modelland) is the David Hasselhoff of the fashion world, it’s only a matter of time.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Oh wait… It’s not supposed to be scripted. Moving on!
Survivor had a supernatural counterpart in Lost, but the claustrophobic, paranoiac atmosphere of the Big Brother house hasn’t really been explored. If 13 seasons and the rise of Brenchel are any indication, there’s an appetite for this show to get a proper scripted treatment.
In this hour-long dramedy, James Van Der Beek could summon up the emotive drip that was Dawson Leery to play the inevitably lamer-than-you’d-like Bachelor, while an amazing roundup of female comedians (Kristen Wiig, Mindy Kaling, Charlyne Yi, Olivia Munn) would be the real story. Imagine the dynamic on New Girl — times six!
That’s just the tip of the reality iceberg, PopWatchers. Your turn! What reality show would you like to see as a scripted drama series? Perhaps a Fame-style reboot of Idol/Voice/X Factor? A Shall We Dance-esque TV iteration of Dancing With the Stars? Share your ideas in the comments below!