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Mr. TV: Current Reality

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I’m worried. Is ABC really designating tonight’s edition of 20/20 “Inside The Bachelor: The Stories Behind the Rose”?

I haven’t heard of anything this lame on a newsmagazine since ABC’s Primetime Live “tackled” Paula Abdul’s alleged affair with an American Idol contestant from season two. The new marching orders for these prime-time “newsmagazines” must be to focus on the topics most likely to bring in the largest audience. Obviously any real news investigation is secondary or nonexistent.

Case in point; former The Bachelor and Dancing With the Stars contestant Melissa Rycroft shouldn’t be canoodling with 20/20’s Deborah Roberts and Chris Connelly about this silliness.  And it truly bothers me that Rozlyn Papa, the villain from last season’s The Bachelor; the bachelor himself, Jake Pavelka; and Dancing’s Rycroft are now considered the new generation of star power. What is the small-screen world coming to?

With that in mind, this Sunday brings the series premiere of A&E’s Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, a nonscripted look at Alley’s ongoing battle of the bulge and her life as a single mother of two teenagers. As much as I like Alley, and I truly do, can anyone remember the last time she had a real scripted gig after her Fat Actress stint on Showtime? This is, after all, the same woman who flawlessly stepped in for Shelley Long on Cheers, winning two Emmys in the process.

With so much reality clogging the airwaves, including newsmagazines like 20/20 that have crossed the line, this is what someone as talented as Alley needs to do to stay employed. I pray she’s able to steer clear of Celebrity Fit Camp on VH1, which currently features Britney Spears’ ex, Kevin Federline, who has shed the excess weight and is getting ready to compete on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Why is this empty-calorie programming tolerated by viewers?

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