On seeing an ad for the upcoming Dukes of Hazzard movie, I started thinking of other 70s and early 80s TV shows that Hollywood might remake. Then I started thinking of late 80s and 90s shows. I’m certain that, 10-20 years from now, there will be a Beverly Hills 90210 movie.
But what about the big hits of this decade—the reality shows? Will Hollywood want to release Survivor or Fear Factor movies for 2025? Or would it be like producing a Jeopardy movie?
One of the big draws for shows like Survivor or American Idol is watching the contestants’ stories unfold over time. You can’t do that in a two-hour movie as effectively as you can over a 10–20–week season. On the other hand, not every reality show is about the long haul. Assuming the public’s taste doesn’t change, I’m sure Fear Factor could be made into a movie. (Though one could argue that it already has been.)
Later in my drive I heard a story on the radio about Iraqi reality TV. Apparently the genre has become quite popular there, particularly the helpful sub-genre (like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). There’s a show that helps people navigate government bureaucracy, a show that rebuilds homes destroyed in the war, one that gives couples dream weddings, one that takes people to foreign hospitals for medical procedures, etc.
Who knew what else we’d be exporting?