Thirty years in, reality TV has officially entered its post-modern era as the race to produce new content has given rise to concepts like the reality series as "social experiment" (The Circle, Too Hot to Handle, Fboy Island), countless reality series brand extensions, and our favorite: the reality series mashup.
Today sees the launch of the latest such mashup, All-Star Shore on Paramount+, where alumni from various reality franchises, including Love Is Blind, RuPaul's Drag Race and The Circle, gather to compete in various challenges against one another.
The Paramount family of networks (which includes CBS, MTV, VH1, Paramount+ and BET) has made particular hay out of this concept, with All-Star Shore arriving only a week before CBS debuts The Challenge: USA, where the venerable MTV competition series is set to welcome cast members from CBS reality shows Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother, and Love Island.
With this trend in mind (and our tongue planted firmly in our cheek), we'd like to offer up a few other ways Paramount could mash up their existing reality properties to create new event series. So far as we know, none of these shows are actually in the works, but it's probably only a matter of time.
This one would be exactly what the title suggests. The Amazing Race with contestants selected from the ranks of RuPaul's Drag Race.
The queens would pair up in teams of two and embark upon a race around the world — to queer-friendly destinations, let's make sure — where they perform tasks, take public transportation, get too little sleep, and bicker amongst each other in a race to the finish line. This idea is an absolute no-brainer, especially when you consider which pairs of queens we'd like to see together. Picture Trixie Mattel and Katya trying to negotiate a stick shift in western Europe. Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X. Change bungee jumping off of a bridge in India. Detox and Roxxxy Andrews racing to make it onto the early flight to Seoul before the gate doors close.
Have RuPaul join host Phil Keoghan at the final finish line, and you're all set.
This would be an all-star season of Survivor hosted by Jeff Probst, with all the same rules, twist, and turns of Survior, only set in the backyard of Jersey Shore.
We're talking immunity challenges taking place on the beach while the over-tanned Shore denizens get some sun. Tribal Council being held at a summer share along the boardwalk. Immunity idols being hidden in various nightclubs across the Shore. The Survivor alums have never had to navigate terrain this treacherous.
This show would not only be another chance to mash up reality universes, but it would also give CBS the chance to shinne a brighter light on its fun little dance show that hasn't quite captivated the nation. The premise of the show is that young dance students partner with an untrained parent in order to compete for the championship.
In this case, the cast for the show would be pulled from the casts of Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother, Love and Hip-Hop, and Tough As Nails. Think those hard-working Tough As Nails cast members can be as adept at a partner lift as they are lifting hay bales? Can they be as precise with their footwork as they are re-wiring an electrical outlet? We'll see.
A little bit of a cheat here since Love Island is moving to Peacock this summer for 4th season. This was actually how the original British Love Island first existed, as a celebrity pair-up show in 2005. But it's high time we get an American version where D-List celebrities enjoy a resort in Mallorca and pair up for love or money.
You don't think celebrities would be amazing at this mercenary look at love and success? Cast this with the same caliber of celebs they got put on Celebrity Big Brother — athletes, former TV stars, Real Housewives — and watch things get weird!
Ridiculousness may not be a reality competition, but it is the show that has taken over 90% of the MTV programming lineup. So why not use it to cross-promote reality shows? In this case, the cast of Big Brother wouldn't just watch videos of ridiculous fails and accidents, they'd also submit their own.
You don't think Big Brother alums have a bunch of failed college prank videos in their archives from the days before they became bartenders, pharmaceutical reps, and Instagram celebrities? No show in the vast Paramount stable casts a more fertile cast for Ridiculous-style videos, so let's get them face-planting already.
Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.
TOPICS: All Star Shore, CBS, MTV, Paramount+, VH1, The Amazing Race, Big Brother, The Challenge, Jersey Shore, Love Island, Ridiculousness, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Survivor, ViacomCBS