Fear Factor

2001, TV Show

News

February 22, 2007: Slip-sliding Away

OK, so we had a little action this week. And by little I mean watching Michelle make fire with her glasses. At least we had two challenges instead of the combo immuno-reward thing the show had been sporting for the past weeks. Regardless, Ravu lost both, but still it was entertaining. Perhaps because there were no puzzles to solve. The reward challenge involved grown men and women throwing themselves, face-forward, down a slick mat and then tossing a ball into a basket. Simple? Sure. Enjoyable? You bet. It's not often that you see a person actually try to swim on land and kudos to Sylvia for that brave effort. Yau-Man versus Dre at the net (thank god we're not calling him Dreamz anymore) was unexpectedly nail-biting. The Rita/Cassandra face-off was exciting, but can we please get these ladies some support? You know what I mean. Would it kill Victoria's Secret to sponsor the show and give some of these women Survivor's first underwire buffs?On to the torturous immunity challenge. Yes... read more

Could Matthew Perry Be Any Busier?

Matthew Perry, The Ron Clark Story

TNT's The Ron Clark Story (Sunday at 8 pm/ET), starring Matthew Perry, follows the real-life story of an energetic, creative and idealistic young teacher who leaves his small North Carolina hometown to teach in a New York City public school. (All kinds of crazy, right?) Bringing with him some inspirational classroom rules (e.g., "Be the best person you can be"), a few innovative teaching techniques and an undying devotion, Clark is able to make a remarkable difference in the lives of his students. And in doing so, Perry, many will find, is able to warm your heart and maybe even bring a tear to your eye in the final act. Surveying Clark's impact on his charges, Perry says, "These are all kids who could have easily given up and gone on the wrong side of the tracks and lived a much harder life, so the messa read more

Baywatch Bombshell Presses Her Luck

Brande Roderick on Gameshow Marathon

We asked 100 men, "Would you drown yourself if it meant Brande Roderick giving you mouth-to-mouth?" How many said yes?

That Card Sharksian moment is brought to you by CBS' Gameshow Marathon, airing tonight at 8 pm/ET (click here for additional dates) and pitting such familiar faces as Leslie Nielsen, Kathy Najimy and, yes, Baywatch alum Brande Roderick against each other in conte read more

Baywatch Bombshell Presses Her Luck

Brande Roderick on Gameshow Marathon

We asked 100 men, "Would you drown yourself if it meant Brande Roderick giving you mouth-to-mouth?" How many said yes?

That Card Sharksian moment is brought to you by CBS' Gameshow Marathon, premiering tonight at 8 pm/ET and pitting such familiar faces as Leslie Nielsen, Kathy Najimy and, yes, Baywatch alum Brande Roderick against each other in contests from your favorite quiz contests. Avoiding the Whammy and bidding on fabulous showcases is but the first of many things on Roderick's plat read more

Is it just me or are TV ...

Question: Is it just me or are TV critics taking schadenfreude in seeing NBC's slipups and misses for the past few seasons, especially now, during the Olympics, and with Joey's dismal ratings. While it's true that success does breed some sort of contempt from advocates of rival networks, TV critics should always have an objective approach. However, highlighting and then further underlining NBC's failures borders on playground teasing. Answer: Maybe it looks like critics are kicking a network when it's down, but really, NBC has been a juicy target ever since it fouled its airwaves with Fear Factor, failed repeatedly to find an adequate comedy to replace Friends (most notoriously with the ill-fated Joey), cloned Law & Order to the point of absurdity, failed to adequately promote and protect gems like Ed and American Dreams through their multiseason (and still too brief) runs — again, the list goes on. And lately, with the The Book of Daniel debacle, the twice-a-week Apprentice disaster ... read more

Bachelor Serves Up Wine, Avoids Cheese

Andrew Firestone shares his Wine Ways

Is The Bachelor: Paris catch Travis Stork still canoodling with Sarah Stone, the kindergarten teach he picked in this week's finale? Who knows. But until the would-be couple come forth, TVGuide.com got up to speed on another Bachelor, Season 3 star Andrew Firestone, who has his own big news to share. After all, maybe things have reheated up between him and Jen Schefft, right? No? Maybe he just has a DVD to tout? TVGuide.com: Tell me about Wine Ways, the new educational DVD you produced and star in. How did it come to be?Andrew Firestone: In a nutshell, what I do in my day job is teach wine tasting, and I really like to focus read more

Desperate Housewives You know...

Desperate HousewivesYou know when we get one of those episodes where all of the main Housewives are involved in story lines that we care about and are totally interested in? This one wasn't one of them. The Lynette-Tom story was beyond ridiculous — such a waste of Felicity Huffman's and Doug Savant's talents, not to mention the normally enjoyable Currie Graham as their boss, Ed. Like an advertising exec would play frat-house games with his employees. I thought I was watching Fear Factor with Tom about to eat a donut out of a toilet and Lynette eating the raw meat. But let's talk about what I did like: everything else in this episode that was all about bonding. How perfect for Bree to bond with Betty, for Gabrielle to bond with the Chinese maid, and for Susan to bond with and secretly marry her ex-husband Carl. Love that it'll be their read more

Why do you think NBC decided ...

Question: Why do you think NBC decided to leave Scrubs off its new Thursday lineup? Answer: The generous response would be that NBC thinks highly enough of Scrubs that it has scheduled back-to-back episodes on Tuesdays starting this week (9 pm/ET), figuring it would be riskier to air untested comedies in the time period and that a one-two punch of Scrubs is just what the doctor ordered. But why be generous? To me, it's just the latest in a seemingly unending series of bad decisions by NBC's programming department. Scrubs has been ill-treated all season. On the heels of its Emmy nominations, it was kept off the air for the first half of the season, and now is dumped on Tuesdays with Fear Factor as the worst imaginable lead-in. On the revamped Thursday lineup, which NBC in theory should be using as a showcase of its best comedies if it truly hopes to rebuild that "must-see" franchise, Scrubs again gets the shaft, in favor of a dying show (Will & Grace), a brain-dead new show (Four Kings) ... read more

CBS is doing a great job ...

Question: CBS is doing a great job counterprogramming American Idol with NCIS. So my question is: Now that the season premiere of Fear Factor tanked in the ratings against repeats, why don't they try The Book of Daniel in that time slot instead? In my book, giving it Dateline as a lead-in on Fridays at 10 pm/ET shows zero faith in the show. And on another matter, what do you think of NBC's new two-hour comedy block on Thursdays? Answer: If NBC had put The Book of Daniel on Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET, in the teeth of Idol, just as many complaints would likely pour in that NBC is trying to kill it there. (Wednesday at 8 would have been a better option. A night of Daniel leading in to West Wing, which deserves to move back to Wednesday for its final episodes, leading in to Law & Order would be the sort of high-quality night NBC generally lacks nowadays). The Friday time period will not be easy for Daniel, which is probably going to be a tough sell to begin with. (I'd love to be surprised.) But ... read more

I want to know your thoughts ...

Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke, Scrubs

Question: I want to know your thoughts on NBC's mid-season moves. While Fox seemed to play into NBC's hand by not moving American Idol (and moving less-than-stellar comedies to the Thursday 9 pm/ET slot), NBC seems to have given us a mixed result. While I like that they're trying to rebuild the Thursday-night comedy block, it is obvious that they still don't respect what they have with Scrubs, particularly because they will probably be pairing it with Joey. While there aren't any real strengths in the NBC schedule, is this really a make-or-break time for both Joey and, as a result, Scrubs? Along the same vein, does this move really serve as a vote of confidence for The Office and Four Kings? Answer: For a night-by-night breakdown of the mid-season shuffle, check out my recent Dispatch analyzing the various network moves in one of the most chaotic Januarys I can remember. This question presumes that NBC will pair Scrubs with Joey after the Olympics, but that hasn't been determined, and ... read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2001, on NBC
Rating: None
User Rating: (41 ratings)
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Premise: A critic-proof reality show in which contestants perform extreme (and not infrequently gross) tests---from getting into a pit filled with scorpions or rats to walking through a burning building to eating a sheep's eyes---in hopes of winning a grand prize. The series has proven to be undeniably popular and is in no danger of winning a Peabody Award.

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