Mike Tyson reality show
February 20, 2003 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Reality Bites? A reality show featuring Mike Tyson could be announced in the coming weeks, according to a Hollywood TV show producer who says he's been having substantive negotiations with a major television network. Schreiberg wouldn't give specifics about the format to the show, only to say it would be "Rocky-esque, with good dramatic story telling of characters over many weeks that eventually builds to a live event." Doubt it will happen since none of the networks seem to admitting interest... but if it does, could this be the lowest low for reality TV?
posted by orange swan (15 comments total)
No, I don't think this is lower than "Fear Factor" or "Are You Hot?" Even Fox's upcoming "Married by America" sounds worse.

After reading the article, it sounds like the show could focus on the "average Joe" who's been given the shot to fight Tyson. (Hence the "Rocky" allusion.) If that's the conceit, color me interested.
posted by Fofer at 12:49 PM on February 20, 2003

Reality bites... good one! :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 12:53 PM on February 20, 2003

Great ... like the Michael Jackson debacle, only with people getting punched in the face.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:01 PM on February 20, 2003

What's lamer: the lame reality tv show or the mefi thread about the lame reality tv show?
posted by jpoulos at 1:09 PM on February 20, 2003

Off topic, but have you seen the new facial tattoo? I can't stand Tyson but I got to admit the tattoo looks good. Kinda dumb getting it so close to his next fight though.
posted by bobo123 at 1:29 PM on February 20, 2003

Alright, jpoulos, it was a bit of a lame post. But it made me laugh and I was having such fun racking my brains for ideas that might prove worse than this one. Like, um, Celebrity Mating. Send two celebrities out on a date together. Start with, say, Anna Nicole Smith and Mike Tyson and you've got a crossover audience from their TV shows.
posted by orange swan at 1:34 PM on February 20, 2003

I can't imagine many things hurting worse than getting punched on a new tattoo.

Except, maybe, getting hit in the face by Mike Tyson.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:37 PM on February 20, 2003

Can we just leave Mike Tyson alone?

He's obviously a mental wreck at this point (tattooing your face days before a multi-million dollar fight, biting your opponent, bizarre media outbursts) and having a "reality" show about him is just going to push him over the edge.

What exactly is the media hoping will happen? That he'll snap and kill someone on the air? He'll take a razor blade and start slicing his arms up? Someone will ask him a question and he'll suddenly burst into tears and cry for hours and check himself into a mental institution?

I feel just as sick watching what's happening to Mike Tyson as I do when I see footage of people poking caged animals with sticks. It's mean, it's unnecessary and it's just begging for something terrible to happen.

Side note: I thought for sure that the premise for "Joe Millionaire" would have meant that we've reached the end of the "reality" show deluge. The fact that the contestants were out and out lied to and humiliated throughout the show should have been enough to stop people from trying out for any more shows after this. And yet, it seems to continue...
posted by grum@work at 1:37 PM on February 20, 2003

American shows are going to have to go much lower before they plumb the subterranean depths that Japanese variety shows are willing to go.

I agree though that the higher profile the contestant the more gruesome the shows will get. It's no big deal for an out of work yokel to debase themselves for a few bucks. But when an actual celebrity straps it on for some coin then it makes for more compelling TV (I'm looking at you Corbin Bernsen, psuedo celebrity)

straps it on - hmm that gives me an idea for a reality show...
posted by vito90 at 1:42 PM on February 20, 2003

I can't find any stories, but I thought the point was they'd take some amateurs, train them for a couple of weeks or months and then let them battle Tyson in the ring. They'd film what they went through as they prepared to fight Tyson.
posted by stevefromsparks at 1:44 PM on February 20, 2003

What exactly is the media hoping will happen? That he'll snap and kill someone on the air?

Bingo. I've said for years that television is heading in the direction of The Running Man or Death Race 2000 - that in the next decade or so, we'll see people killed on TV, and there'll be a huge outcry, but the ratings will trump everything, and eventually we'll get used to it. Cops and Maximum Exposure are just the beginning.

Of course, I say many things.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:03 PM on February 20, 2003

"footage of people poking caged animals with sticks."

People love to watch this. So many people that studios would be crazy not to show it. It's asking too much to expect TV studios to say, "I don't care that it's the most profitable type of show ever. It's stupid and we won't show it."

Too many people spend their lives trying to pretend they aren't sick fucks. They hide their disgusting desire for cruelty from family members and coworkers. Reality shows give them the cheap, sleazy thrills they are denied in real life.

People who enjoy reality shows are mentally unbalanced and enjoy cruelty. Decent people, such as myself, would never be able to sit through such a thing.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:43 PM on February 20, 2003

I've said for years that television is heading in the direction of The Running Man or Death Race 2000 - that in the next decade or so, we'll see people killed on TV

You should check out Series 7, if you haven't seen it. It's basically a movie version of a reality show where people kill each other. Pretty good flick too.

As for Mike Tyson, I hope he gets his own show if that's what he wants. I'd definitely watch. To see Tyson fight a non-professional and then eat the loser's children afterwards.....that's really all one can hope for sometimes.
posted by dogwalker at 3:19 PM on February 20, 2003

My vote for lowest of low is the reality show "casting agent" that I keep getting spam from, urging me to apply to be on some dumb race car show. All I have to do is pay $X to get an audition!

Or maybe I'm just jealous that I didn't think of that scam first.
posted by wrench at 5:03 PM on February 20, 2003

grum@work: And yet, it seems to continue...

40 million people watched the finale. 40 million! That's the highest ratings for any show since 2001's Super Bowl, and the highest ever in Fox's history.

Cheap to produce, no writers or actors to pay, and through-the-roof... Something tells me this is just the beginning. And with 40 million people watching, who can blame them?
posted by Fofer at 8:06 PM on February 20, 2003

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