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Friday May 25, 2007 10:58 am

A Lot of New Reality for FOX

Steven Spielbergreality TV success, FOX is taking their viewers On the Lot right after everyone tunes in to watch the two remaining American Idols belt out tunes before a live audience. The last time FOX debuted a brand-new show behind Idol, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, the game show became an overnight success. Will the same ploy work with On The Lot, a reality competition that features would-be filmmakers? If you’ve already got the biggest audience of reality watchers in the palm of your hand, why not keep them there, right?

Twelve thousand video submissions flooded TheLot.com, each one made by an aspiring filmmaker hoping to break into one of the toughest industries around: film entertainment. Of these submissions, fifty have been chosen to go head-to-head On The Lot. The show, created by well-known TV producer Mark Burnett, famous film director Steven Spielberg, and DreamWorks Television studios, will begin with two “audition rounds” on Tuesday, May 22 (right after Idol) and Thursday, May 24 at 9:30 ET. The semi-finalists will get to visit a Hollywood set (though more than half of the submissions received for On The Lot came from LA anyway) and be sent off “Hollywood Boot Camp” that will entail rough-and-tumble movie making at its finest.

Read More | On The Lot Official Site

Carrier Fisher (the one and only Princess Leia of Star Wars fame) will be joined by directors/producers Brett Ratner, Garry Marshall, and Jon Avnet to create a judging panel during the two audition episodes. Judges for later rounds have not yet been revealed by FOX. The show will air twice weekly (something has to fill FOX’s post-Idol programming holes), an one-hour movie screening episode, and an half-hour “Box Office” results show . The Idol formula works so well, FOX is apparently terrified to break away from it. As with FOX’s flagship reality show, On The Lot’s eliminations will be determined by the viewers.

The fifty contestants range in ages from 21 to 41. Though the show is aimed at would-bes and hopefuls who want to “break in,” forty of the chosen finalists are already involved in the film industry. Airing in the wake of the exciting end of American Idol, On The Lot is set up for success. But even good scheduling doesn’t guarantee good ratings. That part is entirely up to us.

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