A press release from Wednesday announced the world’s first competitive Internet reality show, which will premier Aug. 15. “The Next Internet Millionaire” is about to test whether people really will turn off their TV favorites in favor of online reality game shows.
According to the release, word has it that people actually are turning off their TV sets in increasing numbers and turning to the Internet for entertainment. Although reality TV shows such at The Apprentice, Survivor and American Idol have been among the country’s favorites for several years, those in the know say that audiences are increasingly diminishing as entertainment seekers have more choices and more viewing mediums at their disposal. What program producers and network executives are finding, says the release, is that more and more viewers are getting their entertainment from the Internet. However, original programming to hold viewers’ attention for very long is lacking.
In February, NBC released a study of its online streaming video player. According to Jeff Gaspin, the president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, Digital Content and Cross Network Strategy, “Our viewers responded strongly to the streaming video on our site. Contrary to conventional wisdom, consumers are ready to watch long-form entertainment on the web and we plan on making more available.”.
Enter Internet entrepreneur and InfoMedia, Inc., president Joel Comm and Deluge Films of Northern Colorado owner Eric Holmlund. Together, the men and their companies developed “The Next Internet Millionaire.”
The concept for the show: Twelve entrepreneurs, six men and six women, will compete in several individual and team challenges that will test their business-related skills (leadership, persuasion, creativity).
The goal: Win $25,000 and enter into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and joint venture with Joel Comm.
The contestants: There were some 300 individuals from around the world who submitted applications. Comm and Holmlund narrowed the field to 50, and the public voted on 12 for the show. Ultimately, Comm and Holmlund made the final decision as to who will actually appear. Those selected are from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica.
In the press release, Comm said: “I believe the Internet is ready for prime time programming. With the popularity of reality programming and online video, the time is right for the two to converge. Audiences are ready to embrace quality, original web-based content that will become the talk at the water cooler. ‘The Next Internet Millionaire’ is a historical production that will forever raise the bar for online video production.”
Press release, The Death of Reality TV: Viewers are Tuning Out The Apprentice, Survivor and American Idol as the World’s First Competitive Internet Reality Show Hits the Web; http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/8/prweb545452.htm