“Reality” programming. Design a fish-out-of-water scenario. Find folks willing to have every moment of their life’s experiences video taped and displayed for what is sure to result in some public ridicule. Then turn on the cameras and get ready to roll – somewhere there will be a market share willing to watch. Considering the lower costs to produce shows like Survivor and the Amazing Race and the high advertising revenues those programs can generate, and it’s no wonder that more and more production companies are trying their hand at the “reality” television market.
Not long after the reality travel shows started to hit the air, a second trend of hometown reality programming began appearing with shows like Super Nanny and It’s Me or The Dog popping up. In these situation dromedies, dysfunctional family life was placed front and center with outtakes, personal video diaries and complete blog-o-sphere communities dedicated to dissecting each and every episode.
Enter the latest in the reality genre – The World’s Strictest Parents. For parents who are “proud of your firm parenting skills” this is a chance to host a teen who is “tired of your parents’ rules.” This import from British television is meant to shine a light on family relations and if it follows the path of the British original, that path will be short and rather one direction. Unlike other trade-em-up programming such as Wife Swap where the mis-matched mom and family’s both trade out for two weeks or more, The World’s Strictest Parents is a one way flip that lasts on average only 8 days. Unruly teens who are frustrated by the structure and stricture of their home life are sent to live with parents who are all about structure and stricture.
If you’re interested in trying out, fill out the online form and head for casting in Las Vegas. At least 8 episodes of the U.S. version are planned and have been picked up by CMT for an April pairing with Nanny 911.