MAKE HER LAUGH
CBS is hoping America will have a love affair with “Cupid.”
On the new reality show created by snarky “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, 25-year-old Lisa Shannon, an advertising executive from Detroit, will travel the U.S. looking for Mr. Right – and a $1 million prize.
“He’s not the Hannibal Lechter I thought he’d be,” Shannon says of Cowell.
Each week, Shannon and two of her best friends – acting as judges – will travel to a major city to “audition” potential mates. They’ll arrive in New York on May 23.
At each audition, guys will have just 30 seconds to impress Shannon and her friends “with their sense of humor and making me laugh,” says Shannon. “By being down to Earth, not being cocky or arrogant – just being a genuine person. You can tell if you like someone right away.”
By the third episode, the trio will whittle the list of suitors down to 10.
In the fourth episode Shannon will start going on a series of filmed dates with her suitors, after which her friends – Kimberly Tarter, a work colleague, and Laura Restum, her hairdresser – will react to the dates on live television – while viewers will vote off the guy they like least.
“They know every bad relationship I’ve had – their my Rottweilers.”
After 11 episodes, it’ll be up to a suitor chosen by viewers to propose to Shannon. If she accepts, they’ll split a $1-million “dowry.”
“I’m pretty comfortable with this,” Shannen says, explaining that she’s had problems in the past with finding the right man.
“I’ve told my girlfriends that I’m obviously missing something here. I’m making the same choices and getting hurt the same way. So let’s see what America can do for me because I’ve been picking the wrong guys,” she says.
Cowell will not appear on the show – hosted by MTV’s Bryan McFadden – but is said to have a major, behind-the-scenes hand in its direction.
Shannon, an award-winning copywriter for the Campbell-Ewald ad agency, is the oldest of four siblings and lives with her grandmother in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
“The one thing about CBS as opposed to the other networks with reality, is that they do it right,” said TV industry analyst Marc Berman.
“What they’ve done with reality is very smart – they haven’t overwhelmed the viewer with a million [reality] options like ABC has and NBC will.”
Both NBC and ABC will rely heavily on reality programming this summer.
MAKE HER LAUGH