'America's Got Restraint' to Debut on ABC
ABC's new reality TV show, "America's Got Restraint", is scheduled to air for the first time on Tuesday to open the new fall season, alongside competing reality shows such as "Hey, Fatass!" and "Rich Wealthy Riches".
While some critics and prescreening viewers are lukewarm to the concept, executives hocking the new show -- in which contestants resist the urge to make idiots out of themselves -- expect it to be a big hit.
"It's unlike anything else that's on TV," said ABC President Steve McPherson. "This is the show for all the viewers out there who by now must be tired of over-hyped, in-your-face, extreme programming, which is just not the natural way of TV."
Viewers of the new show will instead be treated to contestants who refuse to eat live worms, decline to sing songs out of their vocal range, and generally try to avoid embarrassment at all turns. All contestants are happily married, and are pre-screened for psychological conditions before being allowed to participate.
Hungry for a big hit, ABC will air the new show at 8:00 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays, believing that the nation's viewers are finally ready for a show that highlights America's reticence and prudence. The network's hopes hinge on these "average-cated" viewers, as it calls them, like Nick Donaldson from New Haven, Connecticut, who was at a taping of the first episode.
"There was this guy who was supposed to be able to suck his own dick, which sounded hilarious right off the bad -- especially since he was overweight," said Donaldson. "But the guy gets on stage, all nervous and everything, and politely declines to satisfy himself orally on a national platform. That was awesome."
"What a reserved man!" marveled another viewer in the audience, Jonathan Hartzel of Fargo, North Dakota. "It must have taken a lot of guts to get up in front of that many people and not fellate himself. Impressive."
According to ABC, the show is not limited to showcasing contestants that walk off the stage when faced with the prospect of bringing scorn and ridicule upon themselves. Other features will include a singing competition in which musicians attempt to perform the version of the Beatles' "Yesterday" that's most faithful and respectful to the original, as well as a spoken-word contest where challengers provide a 10 minute verbal essay explaining why they will not be performing acts that will humiliate them and their families for the rest of their lives.
Winners will be selected immediately, with no bonus round whatsoever, and will go home with a Barnes & Noble gift certificate worth up to $100.
Executives like Steve McPhereson see the show as noble, yet potentially lucrative.
"We want to show the world that American television is about more than one-upmanship and winning competitions based on razzle-dazzle and subterfuge," said McPherson. "There is also a demand for sublime, respectable programming, which is why we have plans to showcase 'Extreme Subtlety: Poetry Reading Throwdown' next year if all goes well with season one."
McPherson admitted that it's possible the show could fail, especially if his construction of the show is actually itself a reality show, wherein McPhersonis being set up to fail in order to become depressed, so much so that the only way to cheer him up is through 15 Tennessee housewives vying for his affection by having a shitting contest.