UPDATE: We heard from MTV and the show was actually shot in January 2009 and will be debuting on April 21st at 10pm. With that in mind...
Lost in the shuffle of everything else that was going on during the premiere episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night was the main reason that Justin Timberlake appeared on the show (well, besides being total brahs with Fallon, that is). Even though he spent most of his time re-creating his stale impression of Andy Gibb, ostensibly Timberlake was there to plug the new MTV reality show that he's executive producing called The Phone. And by "new," we really mean "the one that's been sitting on the shelf since sometime last summer." Honestly, how terrible does a show have to be for MTV not to air it? From the looks of the clip, there's a strong to very strong possibility that it could be the most boring entry in MTV's sordid history of crappy reality shows.
The premise of the show, which was greenlit last spring and originally scheduled to air in the fall of 2008*, revolves around contestants who receive a spooky call on an anonymous cell phone that just happens to be in their immediate vicinity. The contestants then receive a series of instructions from a poor man's Jigsaw instructing them to complete some sort of The Mole meets Punk'd–type of mission, which we can only assume leads them to some sort of casting call in which they are forced to go on dates with a borderline age-appropriate bi-curious peer and their overbearing parents (it is MTV, after all).
Judging from the audience's reaction to the clip (which you can see below), nearly all of them seemed to believe the show was a comedy, when in fact it's intended to be some sort of adventure drama. And that's not good, considering everyone in the Jimmy Fallon audience last night was under 22. Also, it's worth stating that we liked the concept for this show better when it was scripted and called Push, Nevada. Then again, now that we think about it, we really hated that show, too. Regardless, this one looks worse.
*As far as we can tell (meaning: We combed Google and MTV.com and couldn't find a thing), the show still doesn't have an air date.