Photo Credit: Courtesy of FOX
Want to see your favorite celebrities put in danger? Not really? Well, how about a couple of fun reality stars, plus some minor celebrities you may or may not know? Now we're talking!
Stars in Danger: The High Dive (Fox, Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET) is basically the diving version of Dancing with the Stars. Instead of the paso doble, they're tucking and piking and twisting into a pool from five to 10 meters up. And if this two-hour special makes a splash, the network will turn it into a regular series.
The contestants are celebrities about as famous as those mixing it up with Tom Bergeron, meaning they're well known among fans of their specific TV shows or sports teams. In this case that includes Jersey Shore star JWoww, So You Think You Dance All Star Stephen "Twitch" Boss; former Baywatch hunk David Chokachi; former soap star Antonio Sabato Jr., former Baywatch babe Alexandra Paul, pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Kim and Kyle Richards, and former NFL player Terrell Owens.
"When you go in at this height, the water is pretty much concrete," says Sabato Jr. in this preview. "If you don't land and place yourself in a good position, it's gonna hurt." Get a taste for the show here:
Diving coaches, including Olympian Troy Dumais, will show the stars how to execute solo high dives and synchronized dives, or at least how to avoid injury while attempting them. Then they will be judged by an expert panel. Really, though, the focus is "on the drama of the celebrities stepping out of their comfort zone and getting tested in a way they had never been tested before,” says producer Jonathan Murray, who also created The Real World.
"I'm scared of heights and I'm scared of live audiences," JWoww told TV Guide. "And I had to dive off a high-board in front of 5,000 people so you're going to see my anxiety go through the roof and hopefully I don't have a nervous breakdown."
If the show scores in the ratings, the execs at ABC just might be the ones having a nervous breakdown. That network's celebrity diving show, Celebrity Splash, is scheduled to debut in March, with Olympic diving champ Greg Louganis as judge. And Fox has beat ABC to the punch before, airing Nanny 911 when ABC had Supernanny, and Trading Spouses when ABC had WifeSwap.
When Fox chairman Kevin Reilly was asked if his network's celebrity diving show was pushed forward on the schedule to beat ABC, he denied it. "Everything we do is to get good ratings for ourselves," he said during the TCA press tour. "You get no points for damaging someone else…It's all fair. Ours was ready earlier. ... We had open airdates. ... We're not trying to beat ABC on this. ... There have been other copycats on the air that have succeeded quite well in recent history. It's not a new game to television."
Still, it begs the question. Can't these networks come up with original ideas, and not resort to copying each other? Here are a few obvious ones, just off the cuff.
Stars in Free Fall: Celebrity Sky-Diving: Would you like to watch someone shove one of the Kardashians out of a plane at 30,000 feet? We thought so.
Celebrity Jay Walking:
Celebrity Shark Tank, Reality Version: Six celebrities will each be paired with a shark to perform synchronized swimming routines, which will be judged by the famous sharks in Finding Nemo: Bruce, Chum and Anchor. Now that's a show we could sink our teeth into!
You're welcome, Fox.