Reality TV Becoming More Dangerous for Celebrities and the Marginally Famous

The Post reports this morning that three vaguely recognizable individuals have injured themselves on the set of NBC's new reality series Celebrity Circus (which premieres tomorrow, so set your DVR!); Christopher "Peter Brady" Knight broke his arm trying to operate a human-size hamster wheel, former actress Stacey Dash cracked three ribs at the end of an ill-fated attempt to swing through the air on a rope, and Olympic gold-medal swimmer Janet Evans fell fifteen feet from a trapeze, somehow removing half of her partner's leotard in the process. Clearly this show will be awesome — but does it bode well for the future?

Yesterday, the Times' David Carr praised cable for leading the charge on narrative drama as the major networks green-light game shows with the specific intent to injure contestants in the most hilarious ways possible. (Look out for ABC's Wipeout, which will somehow employ huge boxing robots, and I Survived a Japanese Game Show, whose premise should be self-explanatory.) Also, reports emerged over the weekend that Chris Rock had somehow fallen victim to a reality-show prank (purportedly staged by American producers) in South Africa, where he was falsely accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl. We can't really imagine any context in which this could possibly be funny but, if this celebrity-hurting trend gets any more popular, maybe someone will finally call us back about our pitch for Jousting With the Stars.

Golden Age for TV? Yes, on Cable [NYT]
Comedian Chris Rock victim of practical joke in SAfrica [AFP]