Saturday, July 12, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Blair Witch meets reality

CW boss Dawn Ostroff has unveiled a new fall show, 13: Fear Is Real, from horrormeister Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Bogeyman) and reality-show vet Jay Bienstock (Survivor, The Apprentice.)

Blair Witch meets reality

The new witch kids will cry for real.
The new witch kids will cry for real.

CW boss Dawn Ostroff has unveiled a new fall show, 13: Fear Is Real, from horrormeister Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Bogeyman) and reality-show vet Jay Bienstock (Survivor, The Apprentice.)

“It’s The Blair Witch Project as a reality show,” she said. Thirteen attention-starved young people go off in a black bus to a backwater in the Louisiana bayou, “and we kill one off every week.”

“Will people on the show actually get killed?” one wag critic asked.

“We’ll do anything for attention on the CW,” Ostroff replied.

Actually, the kids disappear mysteriously (and, perhaps, gruesomely) one by one, but remain among the living, far from the show. The real mystery is why any decent reality wannabe would agree to go on such a creepy show when the big payoff is only $66,666.

It’s a cute iteration of the Devil’s number, but another digit wouldn’t hurt. The low payout kind of broadcasts the tenuous economic underpinning of the little network.

Underlining the tenuous creative underpinning: The netlet also confirmed that Shannen Doherty would join Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling in the washed-up kid actress brigade, on the remake of Beverly Hills 90210. Doherty will play Brenda, of course, who will be guest director of a musical production at fictional West Beverly Hills High.

Wonder if she’ll teach the new kids — all tall, thin and gorgeous — the finer points of drunk driving and cat-fighting in clubs.

On a classier note, Anne Archer will star in another new CW show, Privileged, playing a grandmother to — of course — beautiful, rich and fashionable teenagers. OK, she was born in the same year as me, and the network aims at the very young, but still….

“Oh, I don’t care about what age my character is,” the 60-year-old Archer told me. “She is a very classy and glamorous lady.”

A little bit of a change from her It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia role as Danny DeVito’s slutty wife, mother to two of the main characters, who also has an affair with one of their young pals.

About this blog
My So-Called Life, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Survivor, I’ll Fly Away, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The X-Files, Northern Exposure, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, NYPD Blue, Frasier, Ally McBeal, and, in the much-too-overlooked category, American Dreams, The Riches, Flight of the Conchords and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

TV has given us wondrous fare over the last 20 years, and Philadelphia Inquirer TV critic Jonathan Storm has been paid to watch it. He has also been forced to watch five cycles of presidential debates, Fear Factor, The Swan and Bill O’Reilly. There is no free lunch in life.

He’s still watching and talking to the folks who make TV, from mega-producers Jerry Bruckheimer and David E. Kelley to the little kids in Medium. And now he’s blogging about it, with insights and info that you won’t find anywhere else. Reach Jonathan at jstorm@phillynews.com.

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