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Jewish World Review
June 22, 2005
/ 15 Sivan, 5765
Reality-show producers facing severe shortage of real people
Number of real people in U.S. At dangerously low levels, study shows
Where have all the real people gone?
That's the question reality-show producers are asking themselves, as a new study released this week shows the number of real people who have not already appeared on a reality show dropping to dangerously low levels.
The study, commissioned by the University of Minnesota's Reality Institute, has caused alarm in the reality TV community, with producers increasingly fearful that that real people, the bread and butter of the genre, may be becoming an endangered species.
Dr. Colson McLeod, who supervised the study, said that with the proliferation of reality shows on nearly every cable TV network, it is nearly impossible to find an American who has not already had his home, car or face made over by a team of experts.
"If you take a random sample of one hundred Americans, you will find that eighty-five percent of them have either gotten married, competed for a modeling contract, or eaten bug larva on TV," Dr. McCleod said. "And the rest have sung 'The Wind Beneath My Wings.'"
For reality show producers like Clive Leisen, who is attempting to launch a new program called "Trading Medications," the search for real people to serve as contestants has never been a more daunting task.
"I have instructed my staff to conduct a nationwide search for real people," said Mr. Leisen, who also produced the hit series "Pimp My Bride." "We are going to look in every state but California."
Elsewhere, park rangers arrested Tom Cruise today after the actor attempted to carve Katie Holmes' face into Mt. Rushmore.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, the first-ever recipient of the National Press Club's Award for Humor, is a former president of the Harvard Lampoon,and a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville.
© 2005, Andy Borowitz