AMERICAN MOSAIC #809 - Reality TVBy Paul Thompson
Last summer, a television program called "Survivor" was extremely popular in the United States. It followed several people as they tried to survive on a small island in the Pacific Ocean. A second "Survivor" is being broadcast now from Australia. This kind of program is called "reality" television. Shep O'Neal tells about other "reality" programs that may be broadcast in the future.
Donald Trump is one of the richest men in America. Mr. Trump has an idea for a new television program. It is called "Billionaire."
Mr. Trump says he got the idea from a very old television program called "Millionaire." On that show, a rich man gave a different person one-million dollars every week. The stories told what they did with the money or how it affected their lives.
The stories on that program were imaginary. What Mr. Trump wants to do will be very real! He wants to see if a person could spend one-million dollars in only thirty minutes. Four people each week would try to spend that amount during the program. The person spending as close as possible to one-million dollars could either keep what they bought or keep the money.
Spending all that money in such a short period of time may be more difficult than you might think. Mr. Trump has developed several rules for this game. First, a telephone or a computer cannot be used to buy things. Only two-hundred-thousand dollars can be spent on any one thing.And the people chosen to take part will not know just when they will be asked to spend the money.
Another "reality" program being planned is called "Combat Missions."This program aims to create four teams of four people who are combat experts trained by the military or police. The teams will compete against each other to carry out dangerous jobs. These might include rescuing a kidnap victim or saving passengers on a hijacked airplane. The winners will receive two-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars.
The television company that is planning the program has already accepted names of people interested in serving on the four teams.
Will "Billionaire" or "Combat Missions" ever be seen on television?We will have to wait and find out. If they do, we will tell you more about them.