Reruns redux, or do we mean reduced?

TV classics need never die -- just bring them back to, uh, reality

For the Record

September 08, 2002|By Sun staff

Plans by CBS and Fox to repurpose television "classics" like The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres into new reality shows suggest that almost anything ever on TV can be reduced to grist for the eternally hungry reality mill:

The Munsters Rebourne -- Fox programmers offer far more than 15 minutes of fame -- eternal life! -- to five men willing to will their bodies to science to be pieced together to create a new Herman Munster. The new show places the kooky, reanimated man-child in a spooky, high-tech house with a "family" of jaded and surly ghouls recruited from Goth nightclubs -- or available members of the Osbourne family.

Making the Bonanza -- NBC follows the ups and downs of a band of suburban cowboys -- Ben, the older, leather-vested one; Hoss, the fat, slow-talking one; and Little Joe, the miniature teen heart-throb -- as they try to put together a roots music band on a Nevada ranch. Ethnic tensions erupt when a new urban cowboy, Hip-Hop Sing, shows up and refuses to do his part of the housework.

Beavis & Butthead II -- On MTV2, two teen boys are abandoned by their parents in a rundown house. Their only provisions are a television always tuned to MTV videos and an endless supply of snack food. They can communicate with each other only by uttering the word "Cool!" and a small assortment of scatological terms. Fans vote online to decide which boy's laugh is more annoying.

Extreme Big Brother Star Trek -- Contestants drawn from the vast congregation of Trekkies (thus pre-costumed and made-up) are pitted against each other five nights a week on the WB (after digitally remastered re-runs of Star Trek, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Next Generation and Enterprise) in various forms of combat, from Phaser Tag to Mind Meld Mania to Suffering Soliloquies (in which the first Capt. Kirk impersonator to say "uncle" as both overact loses). A "crew" of Final Frontierists is shot into space in a cramped shuttle where viewers can watch their every petty move in zero gravity. 'N Sync's Lance Bass is host.

Nightline Survivor -- On ABC, a middle-aged man is forced to adopt a sonorous voice, endure a bad comb-over and stay up late every night talking to a lineup of boring talking heads. Meanwhile, his network employers openly plot to get rid of him, watching and laughing out loud at Letterman reruns anytime he attempts to interview Colin Powell. Show ends when defeated anchorman accepts new job as Grumpy at Disney World.

The Last Masters? -- On CBS, maybe. With the fate of the world's most-watched golf tournament hanging in the balance, 300 wealthy men lock themselves away in an exclusive country club as a cadre of feminists demands entry to female members.

Oh wait, that's already reality ...

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