Burnett, MySpace, Reality TV & Politics: “Independent”

LOS ANGELES — The online social networking site MySpace.com and reality TV producer Mark Burnett are teaming to launch the search for an independent presidential candidate.

The political reality show “Independent” comes with a $1 million cash prize. But there’s a catch: the winner can’t keep the money.

The prize can be used to finance a legitimate run for the White House or can be given to a political action committee or other cause.

Contestants in the show, set to launch in early 2008, will meet the public and interact with supporters, protesters and others. An interactive “town hall” will give MySpace users and TV viewers a chance to rate their performance.

The show does not yet have a commitment from a TV network.

Potential candidates will audition for the show by submitting a video. Once the contestants are chosen, they will set up MySpace profiles to serve as their campaign headquarters.

The hope is that the show, with its Internet component, will engage younger voters in the political process.

“Through this new network television series and the partnership of MySpace, we’re going to discover in a big way, what America really thinks, and bring to light the issues that are closest to those who now finally have a chance to be heard,” Burnett said.

MySpace is a unit of Fox Interactive Media, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Now this is very interesting too. I’ve been talking about how so many broadcasters ask audiences to jump through so many interactive hoops with meanlingless actions. Meaningful action is the natural next step. We’ll be seeing alot more works that actually try and do good…like what is in my next blog post.

Source: http://www.nbc4.tv/entertainment/13054933/detail.html