Kid Nation

On TV tonight:
40 children, 40 days, no adults —
eager to prove they can build a better world for tomorrow in the new reality series KID NATION.

Settling in Bonanza City, New Mexico, once a thriving mining town but now deserted, these Kids, ages 8 to 15 and from all walks of life, will build their own new world, pioneer-style. They will confront grown-up issues while coping with the classic childhood emotions of homesickness, peer pressure and the urge to break every rule. Episodes end with a town meeting in which the kids award one child a gold star worth $20,000, all leading to the grand finale, with an unimaginable test, the biggest awards and a special surprise for every child.

Official CBS site for the show
Kid Nation Promo

sorry, Kid Nation Promo

From the executive producer of Kid Nation, Tom Forman:
"I've been a reality-television producer for a number of years and I was just getting bored by the Hollywood reality types who auditioned for every show I did, who know the answers before you ask the questions, who are looking for this as a way to further their career," Forman said.

"We started talking about how you could make a show that had the unpredictable excitement of that first cycle of Survivor, which I remember watching not as a producer, but just as a fan. How could we possibly get back to that, when nobody knew what was going to happen, not even the participants? So I said, 'Maybe we need to look for participants who weren't even born when that thing premiered.'

"So these are kids. They were born during the Clinton administration. They are, if nothing else, incredibly honest. If they are sad, they cry. If they have a crush on someone, they talk about it. If they're jealous or angry, they fight.

"It's everything that's best about human beings and, at times, worst, because they just don't censor themselves."

Might this be a bad idea? 40 kids left to live by themselves for a month, what could possibly go wrong?

Apparently, lots. Some injuries occurred on the set. Four children needed medical attention after drinking bleach that had been left in an unmarked soda bottle, a girl sprained her arm, becoming one of two children to visit a local emergency room, and an 11-year-old girl who was cooking burned her face with splattered grease. That child's mother, Janis Miles, filed a complaint in June calling for an investigation into "abusive acts to minors and possible violations of child labor laws." The claim was investigated by Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, which found no criminal wrongdoing doing on the part of the production company. CBS said it stood by the procedures it had in place and its "response to all the minor injuries". The network rejected "irresponsible allegations or any attempts to misrepresent and exaggerate events or spread false claims about what happened."

At best, the show will be boring and this will be the last you hear about it. At worst, it will be a trainwreck. The kind you stop and get out of your car to watch. Way to go, CBS.


Blogger Dorshorst said...

I just watched the show.

I truly think future historians are going to dig up tapes of this and decide that today was the beginning of the end of our current civilization.

19/9/07 19:49  

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