Doug Hall on Reality TV
The quote of the day comes from Doug Hall, who just got knocked off the "American Inventor" judging panel by boxer George Foreman: "There is a big difference between reality TV and reality."
I had asked Hall if his national TV exposure on ABC's reality competition series for inventors a year ago had increased business for his Eureka! Ranch in Newtown. That prompted this reply: "Sadly, no. I never saw much if any business impact from the show, other than selling a few more books. There is a big difference between reality TV and reality."
A year ago Hall was hangin' in Hollywood with Simon Cowell, one of the "American Inventor" producers. This year they've cleared house. Host Matt Galant and 3 of 4 judges are gone. Only holdover is Peter Jones, the Englishman who is also a producer on the show with Cowell and FremantleMedia North America ("American Idol).
New judges are George Foreman, former Philadelphia 76ers president Pat Croce and Spanx owner Sara Blakely. Hall says the exit was by mutual agreement. An ABC spokesman for the show says: "We really liked Doug very much, but decided to go with a celebrity panel this year."
I'll miss Doug's insights on the show. He wasn't afraid to ask the tough question, because he was the only inventor on the panel. He was the only one to try out all the inventions. So now we get George Foreman. But will the changes really matter? This show is never going to be "American Idol," or match viewer interest of "Dancing with the Stars." After a spring run last year, ABC is pushing it back to summer. It will be interesting to see if it comes back in '08 for a third year.
Does anybody care?