Odds & Sods

Just don't drink the water...
November 1, 2000

Just don’t drink the water

Mark Burnett doesn’t plan to chance turning the title of his hit reality show, Survivor, into a misnomer. Contestants in the next installment (Survivor: The Australian Outback) will be inoculated to the teeth against any potentially serious illnesses (…though they’re on their own against back-stabbing rivals). The impetus for the preventative measures is Burnett’s other major production, Eco-Challenge. According to a report from Broadcasting & Cable, a handful of participants in the most recent adventure race returned home from Borneo with more than they bargained for – a rare virus called leptospirosis. They contracted the bug (which depresses the immune system and causes high fevers) from swimming across a contaminated river as part of the course. All have since recovered, an exec at Burnett’s L.A. studio said.

Leave space to the professionals

Civilians hoping to win a free trip into outer space would be well advised to brush up on their Russian. While space officials in the land of vodka and borscht are more than happy to cooperate with such commercial schemes as Mark Burnett’s latest reality show, Destination Mir, America’s NASA says it wants no part of the gameshow scene. According to a New York Times report, Dreamtime Holdings has been pitching a series in which 20 contestants would train at NASA’s Houston space center for a one-week trip into the great beyond, but the company apparently didn’t think to ask NASA for its consent.

Appealing to a higher power

Just when it looked like the court show phenomenon might be waning, a new entry has appeared on the scene – Moral Court. Rather than looking at legal issues, the one-hour U.S. program presents cases of ‘right versus wrong.’ As marketing material from one U.S. broadcaster (WGTW-TV48) puts it: ‘Disloyal friends, cheating lovers and lazy co-workers may not be criminals, but they’re certainly guilty of moral ineptitude.’ That being the case, the final say in Moral Court falls outside of a judge’s authority, but aptly-named radio personality Larry Elder is up to the job.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.