Fox Entertainment Owner Rupert Murdoch to Found Reality College
New York, October 19, 2006 -- Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who through his vast entertainment conglomerate News Corp. controls reality show and infoganda channel Fox, announced plans yesterday to found a "reality college" to help shore up declining reality TV show ratings. The mission of the college, according to News Corp. spokesman Sam Vapore, will be "to teach dedicated reality television viewers and contestants how to act like real people."
The move is essential, say media analysts, as Fox's programming schedule consists virtually exclusively of the antics and conversations of so-called "real people" engaged in various pseudo-genuine pursuits.
The line-up for the fall season, which includes reality-based shows such as All You Need Is Lube, American Golden Calf, American Junior Mints, Anything For A Buck, Bachelorettes In Alaska, Das Boot Camp, The One-Armed Bandit, Celebrity Ear-Boxing, The Gas Chamber, The Complex of Neuroses, Spiritually Exhausted, Forever Heathen, Hell's Diner, Rectal Invasion Of Hidden Cameras, Iwana Young Man, Igota Cyst, I Want To Murder A Debutante, Josef Millionaire Stalin, Drop-Kicking The Littlest Groom, Shag Cruise, Harried by America, Meet The Marksmen, Miss Dog Beauty Pageant, Mr. No Personality, Murder In Small Town X, My Big Fat Obnoxious Studio Executive, My Big Fat Obnoxious Australian Media Mogul, Nerd 911, Next Great Chimp, Porn Hotel, Performing Ass, Playing It Straight To Keep My Platonic Trophy Bride, The Finches Of Malibu, The Rebel Actuary, Renovate My Buttocks, Search For A Non-Sticky Playboy Centerfold, Big Loser, Smelliest Bachelor Contest, Simple-Minded Life, So You Think You Can Dance On My Grave, Stare Chamber, The Rodent, Soft-Porn Island, Thirty Seconds To Masturbate, Trading Spatulas, Trailer In A Tree, Unwanted, Who's Your Sperm Donor, Who Wants To Con A Multi-Millionaire, and World Worm, is illustrative of the network's near-total reliance on the ubiquitous, inexpensive televised entertainment format.
"The problem we've been experiencing is a simultaneous market glut coupled with a vast viewing population that appears to do little else," said Vapore. "This has led to an increasingly vapid and uninteresting collection of reality show aspirants, none of whom seem capable of doing anything but discussing the most banal and trite aspects of their shallow and inconsequential faux relationships. It's a completely self-absorbed, self-perpetuating little universe they seem to inhabit. What the Reality College will do is train these contestants to behave more like people did before the world of reality TV – you know, like sentient humans."
The Reality College will offer a full curriculum that includes arts, literature, history, social studies, science, religion, and vocabulary-building. Contestants on any of Fox's 87 reality programs will be required to accumulate at least one full year of credits before being permitted to participate. Murdoch is betting the training they receive will lend a dose of real-world credence to their on-screen interactions, thus enhancing viewer interest.
"We're trying to reach beyond the reality-TV zombie demographic, which we already own," said Vapore. "That's where they live, vicariously through our shows. The problem is, they don't do things like shop, work, or think. So we need to get beyond that sector into the homes of actual people, those who actively participate in human society."
Murdoch's Reality College is scheduled to open for its inaugural class of 2,330 reality students in the fall of next year. Shares of News Corp. were up 2 1/8 on the announcement.
By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor
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