They Seem To Emphasize The “TV.” The “Reality” Not So Much.

September 30, 2012


We had to write a bunch of thank you cards today, for baby gifts (man, raising a child really is hard work!).  And by “we” I mean my wife wrote a lot and I periodically popped in and said, “Wow, you’re still at it?” and then eventually she got fed up and I had to help which I thought was unfair.

She turned on the TV for something to keep her mind occupied, but not too occupied, and so we wound up watching several reality TV shows. I’m normally not a big fan of those, so I’m sure I’m hopelessly out of touch, but the shows seemed to be:

Something where a guy who seems to want to be Donald Trump watches people’s restaurants on hidden camera with the owners and shouts, “This is unbelievable!  Look what they’re doing!  Unbelievable!” a lot while the staff act like buffoons then he tells them they should be fired, but then they aren’t.

And that’s why my show, “Extreme TV Show Pitching” would be a sure-fire hit!

Iron Chef, which seems to consist of someone excitedly shouting, “With only 18 minutes to go, it looks like he’s dicing the cucumber!” and then lights swoop and music thunders and knife graphics slash across the screen.

Pawn Something, with the guy in Vegas who’s incredibly likable and pays people who then step outside the pawn shop and say to the camera, “I think I’m going to go gamble this money!” because that’s smart.

All of which brings us to a special Reality TV edition of our weekly Question!

It’s your big moment – your pitch that could lead you to basic cable glory!  What Reality TV show would you pitch?  Either because you want to see it, or because you could be in it – who knows!  Maybe America’s Top Petty Thief?  Giant Carnivore PetsSpider Cops? Birthing Class Showdown?


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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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95 Comments on “They Seem To Emphasize The “TV.” The “Reality” Not So Much.”

  1. prttynpnk Says:

    I;d like to see the Toddlers and Tiaras cast dropped on one of the Survivor Islands….


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      I’ve always said I’d KILL to see some kind of Lord of the Flies: young boys stranded on an island. But your all-girl cast would be even more fascinating! No electricity? Where to plug in the flat-iron? And who would be pushed from the cliff? Would anyone ever learn how to make fire?


      • prttynpnk Says:

        What if the first challenge lets them have fire OR pixie sticks- imagine the brawl!


      • The Byronic Man Says:

        I have a vague recollection of a TV network trying that with kids in an abandoned town, monitored by cameras – and then parents freaked out.


        • marbles Says:

          I LOVED that show!

          We had a show here in Oz that was pulled quite suddenly and I was left high and dry, never knowing what happened to the kids. It was a US show called something like Teen Fat Camp.

          I never got to find out if any of them lost weight, and whether the couple who declared undying love for each other in the bus on the way to Fat Camp (they had just met) ended up living happily ever after!

          So many questions….


  2. 1pointperspective Says:

    I already suggested this idea in a blog a ways back. So many people loved the idea, that I’ll have to submit it for your consideration. I just went back and copy and pasted the pitch idea, here it is:

    America’s Next Top Mortician – Three morticians are given a challenging stiff to prepare for a viewing and funeral. They will each have a fixed number of hours to fully prepare the corpse for interment. Some of the challenges will include pushy, unrealistic family members who want Aunt Bessie to look “more life-like”, ill-fitting clothes for the deceased, and convincing the family they should pay for the up-graded casket. Finally, what final-rest competition would be complete without the hearse-obstacle course?


    • k8edid Says:

      I remember your post – it was brilliant. I can’t believe someone hasn’t contacted you about filming a pilot. Or have they?


      • 1pointperspective Says:

        Yes…there’s a Bentley out in the driveway. The wife and I are moving to L.A. in a few weeks, but we’ll keep an apartment in Manhattan for when we have business in New York. My neck pain story was just a ruse to get everyone feeling bad for me while I didn’t write blog posts.

        I find that writing for the entertainment industry is far more profitable than this blog nonsense. The TV moguls GET me. They nod their heads and hang on my every word. Still, I like to post occasionally to keep in touch with my roots and to entertain the common folk.

        I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve got a brunch meeting with the ghost of Aaron Spelling and I want to try to get in sessions with my personal trainer and my spiritual advisor beforehand. Toodles.

        Have your people talk with my people, perhaps they can arrange an autographed photo for you. Let me know who they should make it out to.


      • 1pointperspective Says:

        On an ACTUAL show biz note; my younger brother recently won an Emmy for his editing of the HBO piece on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Just in case I ever need reminding that he does great work at a really cool job, there are a few pics on Facebook of him in his tux with the statue. I’m not jealous…not at all…really…I have my own successes…I can’t name any of my awards just now…I’m too modest to that anyway…


      • 1pointperspective Says:

        The blog was chock full of ideas just like that one. The mortician seemed to be the most popular. I hate to hawk my posts on someone elses blog comment section, so I’ll just give subtle hints that if you’d like to read it, the post had the word “lemons” in the title.


    • Michelle Gillies Says:

      Personally I love this idea and will be voting for it and probably not submitting any kind of idea of my own because I love this idea so much. That, and well…nothing comes to mind. Can you post the link to the original post about it?
      (Sorry to interrupt the conversation between you and K8edid)


  3. k8edid Says:

    The Commute: Competitors strap on crash helmets and traverse through rush hour traffic in various locations. Points awarded for: near-misses, actually vehicle-vehicle contact, most creative profanity, eluding police, applying makeup while talking on the cell phone at highway speeds, and avoiding school buses. Not that I know anything about any of that.


  4. Valentine Logar Says:

    Someone already took my idea, “Raising a Stripper”. It is called “Honey Boo Boo”.

    I also thought the Time Back Machine, where people competed to say the most outrageous, insulting and disturbing things in forums you would never expect and the winner would get a shot and fame, fortune and Congress. But Faux News stole my idea and hired Sarah Palin as their spokes model, shot Michelle Bachmann to Congress and sponsored Mitt Romney.

    All the great ideas seem to get stolen right out from under me.


  5. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

    I have another thought, but this is serious. Raised By Wolves. My SIL and BIL ignore their kids. Dad golfs. Mom shops. But all 3 of their kids were National Merit Scholars and two of the three had full tuition to top schools. Just waiting to hear where #3 is going to go. I’m guessing Harvard because she’s the whole package. Did I mention #1 is in med school?

    How did they do that?

    I want them to take some unwanted kid and ignore him and turn him into one of their own amazing, fabulously kind, over-achievers. And I want a camera crew present so I can see how it is done. 😉


  6. Go Jules Go Says:

    Allow me to very earnestly suggest, “The ‘Stache Experiment.”

    The show features undercover actors who don various ‘staches as a social experiment. They apply for jobs, go shopping, go on dates, and do all of these things both ‘stache-less and mustachioed, to find out whether people react differently depending on one’s facial hair. Does anyone hire or date the guy with the handlebar ‘stache? Do they undercover an underground ‘stache fetish ring?


  7. clemarchives Says:

    YES! I got this question, finally!

    Marry My Son, Please: in this reality show-drama-contest, one man, Jon, is looking for love amongst a group of 20 20-something women, sort of like the Bachelor — BUT THERE’S A TWIST! Instead of Jon choosing who stays and goes, it is up to a panel of 5 judges to decide the fates of the ladies based on how they think they’d work with Jon and the outcomes of various competitions based on Jon’s interests, including, “Who has the most knowledge of the NFL?” and “Who can cook the best meatloaf?” Moreover, sometimes the judge’s own personal drama spills over into the decision making process.

    The judges are:
    David: Jon’s sassy gay confidant.
    Cate: Jon’s ex-girlfriend who is now a lesbian and wants to be an actress.
    Maryann: Jon’s best friend who is a 25 year old virgin and slightly aloof.
    Ray: Jon’s friend who is gay but not flamboyant and obsessed with eating.
    And, of course, Robin: Jon’s mother, who is a cougar and party girl. As the mother, she is the head judge who can cast the tie breaking votes, and she also possesses the “mom veto,” which she can use 5 times during the series to override the other judges’ ruling.

    As if a combination of the Bachelor and America’s Got Talent wasn’t enough, there’s added Real Housewives style “reality” drama based on the judge’s interactions, like when Cate decides she wants to have a bigger part on the show and get more famous so she enters herself into the competition as a contestant, too, or when Maryann begins a forbidden romance with one of the cameramen.

    Basically, it’s every type of reality tv archetype rolled into one super awesome, must-see show!!!!


  8. beckysaysthings Says:

    How about RODENT NURSING, where they chuck eight rodents into a hospital and see if they can make the patients better?


  9. susielindau Says:

    I just received a thank you note from a friend’s baby shower and I was amazed at the length and personal touch in it! Hers must have taken days to get out in the mail!
    Celebrity Slum Swap. Someone living below poverty level swaps places with a celebrity for three days! The poor person gets to live like a celebrity for three days. The celebrity lives in their neighborhood for three days and chooses how $50,000 dollars will be spent to help the person and their community.


  10. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    I want to be in a reality TV show, something like “Who will get free ride in Noah’s ark ( bring out the killer in you)” ..or something like that


  11. thefoodandwinehedonist Says:

    My best friend’s reality show- ultimate aquariums debuts next week. Does that count? Shameless plugs aside, I had a great idea years ago and coworkers thought I should pitch it. I didn’t and something very similar came out. I called it “2 hot, 1 not”. It’s like a dating game/bachelor/bachelorette thing where the chooser can’t tell what the people look like. I’d set it up so that 2 of the pool were model types and the other horrendously ugly. I’d make sure that stereotypes were challenged- like brainy models, ditzy uglies, etc. The part I wasn’t sure of was whether I could get people to sign up with the understanding that they’d be the ugly person. As the real show (and Jerry Springer) proved, there isn’t a shortage of people who want to be on tv.


  12. Maria Says:

    MST3000 BUT it’s you, the Byronic Man seated in the front row reviewing, critiquing the “best” ‘reality’ shows – there’s my pitch.


  13. tomwisk Says:

    Here’s an idea Who Can Make An Intelligent Statement. Ex reality show stars are locked in an empty house. In the center of the of the main room is a wheel with the contestants names on it. Every day someone rings the doorbell and the contestants spin the wheel. Whomever is chosen answers the door and must make a cogent, coherent statement in response to the ringer’s query. If they answer to the judge’s satisfaction they go free. If not back into the house. The lack of food and confined conditions should make for entertaining television. The questions at the door range from “Does the Big Bang Theory preclude the existence of God?” to “Did you just wet your pants?”. Those that fail to last/drop dead can be used for food or tossed out depending on the prevailing moral ethic. The winner is the player who outlasts the others. The players are on camera 24/7. One thing the wheel is rigged to pick out the biggest dolt to answer the door. There might/might not be a ringer. And there’s food stashed around the house. You think it will play?


  14. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Heads up! The baby is nothing compared to all the crap you’ll be required to do after the arrival. Dear lord just wait until the birthday parties start.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      People really want us to start with that stuff. “Are you going to dress her up for Halloween?” “She’ll be 2-3 weeks old.” “Yeah?” “She won’t even be able to life her head.” “Yeah?” “So… no.”


  15. Leanne Shirtliffe Says:

    I’d like to see People-Who-Slag-Teachers Substitute Teach in Middle School.


  16. Lorna's Voice Says:

    Reality and TV in the same sentence is an oxymoron if ever there was one. My idea for a new reality show is “Cut!” Sight-impaired contestants compete to come up with the best haircuts for TV “personalities,” and other celebrities with no discernible talent.


  17. Elyse Says:

    I’d pitch America’s book readers! Can you find one?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      There could be suspenseful moments like seeing someone reading and then… awwww… we find out it’s a Chelsea Handler book, or one of those “Obama is a Muslim Terrorist” books. Shoot! So close, yet so far away!


  18. Le Clown Says:

    The Byronic Man,
    It’s about a clown and his dream to open up a restaurant chain…. To cater to potential customers, he goes after kids… with toys – blue and army stuff for boys, pink and ponies for girls . I shit you not… you might think it sounds creepy, but I see $$$$$.
    Le Clown


  19. Kim Says:

    Ummm… “The Next Great American Reality Show” … where the contestants would be actually pitching the shows… because thinking of a new one all by myself seems like an awful lot of work, right now… so they can do it. The contestants.


  20. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    Please never, ever, ever share this with Ba.D., but the reality TV show I want to pitch would show what happens to reality TV people after they’re done with reality TV. The stuff I overhear at parties is amazing, in absolutely the way you’d expect given the invitees–much more entertaining than the edited-to-scriptedness stuff I’m still trying to make myself watch in the name of love.


  21. List of X Says:

    I have an idea: “Reality TV Survivor”: the reality show stars like Kardashians, Snooki, Gosselins, et cetera, are sent to the remote uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. And…that’s it.


  22. benzeknees Says:

    I hate most reality shows, so I would not propose another “time-waster” for people to watch! Let’s have more great dramas!


  23. Sandy Sue Says:

    I’m up for “Barista Wars” if only for the scalding water fights.


  24. Michelle Gillies Says:

    So many astoundingly great entries and so little time to actually produce them. This has to be one of my favourite questions yet. You could probably get away with just asking the questions in the title and let your followers provide the content. They do a great job! 😉


  25. spilledinkguy Says:

    How about ‘Television Executive Survivor’… forced to watch only their programming… 24 hours a day… on only stale breadcrumbs and water!
    *dun dun dun*


  26. musingsoftheamusingmuse Says:

    I have to admit I’m horribly out of touch with television programming, too. Considering that the shows I DO watch are recorded on the DVR and I fast-forward through the commercials… I’m probably more out of touch than most.


  27. pegoleg Says:

    OK, I know I’m thinking WAY outside the box here, but stick with me. You follow a bunch of women around with cameras and film their daily lives. All these women have in common is that they’ve had a lot of plastic surgery, have hair extensions and plumped up lips, are blonde and will do anything to get on TV and have 15 minutes of fame. They usually have husbands who make a lot of money, but not necessarily. They usually have children, but that only matters insofar as they can be filmed throwing $25,000 birthday parties for them. They pretend to be friends and periodically have dramatic fights to spice up the ratings.

    We’ll call the show…wait for it…The Real Housewives of Detroit. DETROIT! See, this has never been done before! In Detroit, I mean. It will revolutionize TV, I swear.


    • She's a Maineiac Says:

      Detroit? Yikes. I think you’re onto something there, Peg. I watch Hard Core Pawn in Detroit and there is some crazy stuff going on there. I’ve been there twice and (barely)lived to tell about it .How about the real housewives of Maine? About women who wear plaid fleece, smoke cigars and hunt moose for fun? I’d be the show’s star!


  28. Jill Pinnella Corso Says:

    There definitely needs to be a show about douchebag bankers called “Wall Street Frat Row” or “Bank Bros”.


  29. anecdotaltales Says:

    HardKore Kittens. They meow! The scratch! They fall asleep after fifteen minutes of chasing after yarn. You think they’re adorable and precious. And they are! But look at those sharp claws that they use to swipe affectionately at their little toys! Full of marketing potential wtih tie-ins from Cheezburger and t-shirts with pictures of cute cats. It satisfies the need for excitement and cuteness all at once.


  30. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I did a post on my own reality shows waaay back when my only reader was my sister-in-law. I remember I came up with Yard Sale Whores and Fed Up Fed-Ex Drivers. My husband was a Fed Ex and UPS driver back in the day and man oh man, he had some stories.


  31. Richard Wiseman Says:

    I’d get a load of useless, stupid, lazy and egocentric people, say about eight hundred, from different parts of the country, and have regular people, from each part of the country those 800 ‘up for the vote people’ came from, vote for the one they wanted to go and sit in a big building. Then the ones that won, say two hundred of them, would get into groups in that building and come up with ideas on how to make the country better. They’d then all argue over whose ideas should become laws. I’d then add in that people could phone in secretly and offer money to some groups to argue for and pass some laws the people offering money wanted passed. It would be hilarious! We would televise the arguments and have some kind of analysis program to discuss the mess these assholes were making of the country! Think of the fun and laughter! It would be brilliant! I’d call it ‘Why I Do I Bother’ and it would be the ultimate reality show. What do you think?


    • mistyslaws Says:

      Hmmm, this show ALSO sounds familiar. As if maybe I’ve seen this on TV before. Let me think……

      Secret Millionaire?
      Big Brother: Congress?
      Jersey Shore?

      Yes, I think that last one. 😉



  1. Let’s Get Real… TV Real. | The Byronic Man - October 7, 2012

    […] I encourage the authors to expand on them with their pitches below, or you can go to the comments here to see the original ideas.  Enjoy! Take Our Poll Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterStumbleUponLike […]

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