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Are you ready for reality?

By ERIC DEGGANS

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2001


Reality check
Sick of Survivor? Don't care who The Mole is? Not tempted by Temptation Island? Could a flood of reality TV shows set to debut this month kill off viewer interest in the genre? 
Think you've got what it takes to be the next Richard Hatch or "Chickenman" George Boswell?

You'll get lots of chances to prove it, with dozens of new reality TV projects seeking contestants to fulfill dreams of televised exploitation.

Here's a sample:

COMBAT MISSIONS -- Only veterans of the Navy Seals, Green Berets or some other tough-guy military/law enforcement unit need apply; teams of four will compete in staged military missions for a top prize of $400,000. Developed by Survivor producer Mark Burnett, it's like The Real World meets Rambo. Web site: http://www.combatmissions.com/. Deadline: Jan. 27.

FRONTIER HOUSE -- The producers who got a British family last year to live like it was 1900 now plan to plunge participants into 1880s-era rural Montana for half a year. With no cash prize, participants gain only the satisfaction that comes from using an outhouse and killing their own food on national television. Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/. Deadline: Jan. 15.

Big Brother II -- CBS won't confirm whether a sequel is pending, but the network is taking names of those who might consider spending three months in a camera-filled house, anyway. After seeing the bizarre mix of boredom and tension among participants in the first one, it's hard to imagine who would be interested. Web site: http://cbs.com/primetime/bigbrother/. No deadline.

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