You generally don’t think about the homeless as a topic for Reality TV; then again, of course, homelessness is a real, huge and devastating problem in America today.
So, if Reality TV is about our American reality, homelessness ought to be an important topic.
At the same time, one of the most popular genres of Reality TV is the game show or contest, in which participants can win a redesigned home, an improved business model for their company, or a cash prize to start their own food business.
“HOME LESS” will combine this popular contest format with a dose of social goodwill. The series will focus on approximately five homeless people who will be assisted with proper, permanent living quarters, a new job, and personal assistance.
In other words, it will hopefully be a new lease on life for them.
Of course, there is no guarantee of success. Then again, there is no guarantee of failure, either.
One of the reasons viewers are enthusiastic for Reality TV contest shows is because they show real situations and struggles, often in their most raw and unvarnished state. When a contestant succeeds, everyone feels the joy, because the struggle has been so vivid.
So, just imagine a Reality TV series where the outcome is for the homeless to escape from their misery and stigma? “HOME LESS” would make both great television and represent a small step toward improving the fabric of our society.
There are about over half a million Americans who are homeless on any given night and the reasons for their homelessness are myriad and complex.
Some have lost their jobs; others battle substance abuse problems. Still others are simply priced out of the ever-spiraling cost of housing in many large American cities.
We will select our participants as a representative and fair cross-section of the homeless population. There will be constant assistance but there is no predetermined outcome. Of course, we hope all will succeed, but there will likely be inevitable ups and downs.
It is important to note that while “HOME LESS” will involve real homeless people, in no way is this Reality TV series meant to substitute for public policy, which alone can address this chronic and intractable problem in American society.
If, however, a Reality TV series can not only allow a few to break out of their wretched lot in life, but also serve to humanize the homeless, then perhaps “HOME LESS”” could also play a small role in reshaping America’s view of homelessness.
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