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Stranger Than Fiction

The Oddest New Reality Concepts

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The Real Gilligan’s Island
Plot: Diverse castaways stranded on an island
“Star”: None
Cast: An actual skipper, a first mate, a millionaire couple, a movie star, a Kansas farm girl, and a professor
Formula: Survivor: Nick at Nite Edition
Time: TBS, November

Regency House Party
Plot: Ten men and women in the English countryside, courting one another by Jane Austen’s social rules
“Star”: None
Cast: Retro heartthrobs
Formula: Frontier House meets The Bachelor
Time: PBS, November 3, 9 p.m.

The Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best
Plot: Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, leads young entrepreneurs around the world, reliving his life story
“Star”: Branson
Cast: Mini-Bransons
Formula: An even more ego-driven The Apprentice meets The Amazing Race
Time: FOX, November 9, 8 p.m.

Cold Turkey

Plot: Contestants hole up in a house and try to quit smoking
“Star”: Former New York gossip columnist A. J. Benza
Cast: Desperate addicts
Formula: Big Brother meets Philip Morris
Time: PAX, October 3, 10 p.m.

He’s a Lady
Plot: Eleven macho men think they will take part in manly challenges . . . but instead must compete to see who makes the best woman
“Star”: None
Cast: Startled bohunks
Formula: A Joe Schmo–ish reverse Outback Jack with a transsexual twist
Time: TBS, October 12

Long Way Round
Plot: Ewan McGregor’s four- month-long motorcycle trip through exotic nations (and Canada)
“Star”: McGregor
Cast: International citizenry
Formula: Celebrity Amazing Race minus the race
Time: BRAVO, October 28, 10 p.m.


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