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I Don't Understand Television: "Catfish," "Source Code," "Beauty and the Beast"

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | September 19, 2011 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | September 19, 2011 |

Used to be, there were three channels. Then cable and Fox and the WB came along and suddenly there were a million. The good side effect of this was that it made some truly great television possible that never would have been green lit in the days of three networks. Niches appeared and were filled. But the dark cloud of this has been the proliferation of truly bad ideas for television. “Jersey Shore,” “The World Series of Poker,” everything on TLC and the very existence of a dedicated Golf Channel.

Here are today’s worst three television shows getting kicked around for development. I’d make a drinking game out of it, but people would probably die.

First up, MTV (you really don’t have to read any further, do you? Just the channel tells you that this is going to be idiotic) is adapting Catfish into a television series. Yeah, the documentary that wasn’t really a documentary, but was a really screwed up story anyway? MTV thinks it would make a great dating show:

From the producers of the hit Sundance feature documentary Catfish comes a new MTV series that brings together couples who’ve interacted solely through LCD screens. Over the course of months they’ve supposedly fallen in love — but what will happen when they meet in real life for the first time? With the guidance and help of Nev Schulman, the star of the original feature film, in each episode a hopeful romantic partner will go on an emotional trip to discover the truth about their significant other. Is he who he says he is? And if so, will love truly blossom? These emotional journeys promise to be filled with mystery, surprises, and sometimes, even shocking revelations.

That sounds about as compelling as … well, as everything else on that pointless network. (source: SlashFilm)

Second, Source Code, a decent enough sci-fi film premised on the existence of technology that allows an individual to relive the last eight minutes of someone else’s life is getting adapted into a television show by ABC Studios. It will be turned into a procedural with three federal agents as the requisite Scooby Gang. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just buy the rights to “Quantum Leap?” (Blastr)

Finally, we come to the header picture. The CW is developing a reboot of the eighties series “Beauty and the Beast.” I just, I don’t, what the hell is that picture? Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman dressed as a Chia pet? Honestly, this can’t possibly be a remake or a reboot, because I refuse to acknowledge that this show existed. What was wrong with the eighties? (source: THR)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.