TV Article

The Real Report

The new crop of reality shows coming to a TV near you -- Lynette Rice uncovers new tales from the unscript

TLC | A LITTLE TLC Chili and T-Boz look for a new Girl
Image credit: Chilli and T-Boz: Roxy Erickson/Retna
A LITTLE TLC Chili and T-Boz look for a new Girl

Ty Pennington should demand a finder's fee: The success of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has rival TV executives scrambling to build their own knockoffs. ''Everyone's playing out this Queen for a Day genre,'' explains William Morris agent Mark Itkin. And despite omens to the contrary, Mark Cuban didn't single-handedly kill off elimination shows and docudramas with The Benefactor. Those are in high demand too, making this year's market for unscripted series stronger than ever. ''Reality shows are a staple now,'' says Itkin. ''They're cheaper, can be produced quickly, and they help fix bad time periods.'' Here's what to expect from the genre in the next six months:

Do-overs In a real-life Fantasy Island, CBS allows contestants to fulfill an alternate reality in Crossroads (fall), while ABC gives nine kids a chance to turn around their lives in Brat Camp (summer), both from Big Brother exec producer Allison Grodner.

Doctor's orders ABC sends a team of experts to help families who can't pay for medical care in Miracle Workers (fall). Fox, the network that made dozens of women feel inadequate on The Swan, makes dozens of middleagers feel inadequate on Who Wants to Live Forever (fall), a series that promises to shave years off contestants' ages.

Cut from the same cloth On the high heels of Project Runway, CBS unveils The Cut, in which 16 would-be designers vie for the chance to work for Tommy Hilfiger (June); On NBC, Paris' mom, Kathy Hilton, weeds the dandelions from the daisies in I Want to Be a Hilton (summer), and Martha Stewart finds a protégé in her version of The Apprentice (fall).

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