TV Column: An easy $10 million if you can prove Bigfoot exists
By Lisa De Moraes,
Poor Simon Cowell. Not only has his singing competition, “The X Factor,” been eclipsed in the ratings this fall by the NBC singing competition “The Voice.” Now he also can no longer claim that his show’s $5 million prize is the biggest in TV show history.
It has been eclipsed by Bigfoot.
Spike TV announced Thursday that it has teamed with Lloyd’s of London to offer a $10 million prize to anyone who “can answer the question of whether Bigfoot truly lives.”
It doesn’t. I win!
Spike has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” in an effort, the network says, to “discover the truth about the legendary creature . . . the seemingly mythical being that roams the forests of the world, avoiding mankind.” Spike said it has cast scientists, zoologists, trackers and “actual Bigfoot hunters” who believe in Bigfoot’s existence.
The teams are tasked with proving to a group of “experts” that the hairy, apelike Sasquatch exists with “irrefutable evidence.”
Each episode will follow the teams as they ply their extensive research “and presumed knowledge” of the legendary creature, Spike said.
Although Bigfoot roams the forests of the world, per Spike, the Viacom-owned network said the series would be shot in various locations in this country, ruling out Canadian, Central American, South American and other globe-trotting Bigfoots (Bigfeet?).
Stations of the boss
President Obama is the hottest celebrity on TV these days.
His visit to Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show appears to have produced the program’s biggest Wednesday crowd since the week Leno returned to host the NBC late-night franchise — after the network booted Conan O’Brien.
Nielsen issued only metered-market household numbers; final stats will be available next week.
Meanwhile, Obama’s visit to the Comedy Central faux-news program “The Daily Show” a week ago Thursday snagged nearly 3 million viewers, making that week “The Daily Show’s” most watched all year.
Obama’s next stop: MTV, 5 p.m. Friday, when he will take questions from college students.
Walters vs. Trump
Speaking of Obama, ABC News-woman and “The View” den mom Barbara Walters has asked Donald Trump to stop embarrassing himself, ABC noted Thursday.
The morning after Trump offered the president of the United States $5 million (payable to the charity of his choice) if Obama would turn over his college transcripts and passport records — and the morning after Obama joked on Leno’s show that Trump’s feud with him started when the two men were “growing up in Kenya” — Walters weighed in.
First, she let the Ladies of “The View” yak a bit about Trump’s “big announcement” during their “hot topics” segment.
“May I say one thing to Donald Trump?” Babs intervened.
“I’m going to say it to his face,” she said.
And by “his face,” she of course meant “the camera.”
“Donald, you and I have known each other for many years. And you know I am your friend and I think you are a brilliant businessman, and you are great on television, and you have a fascinating personality,” Babs said, looking hard into the camera.
“Donald, you’re making a fool of yourself,” she continued. “You are not hurting Obama — you’re hurting Donald, and that hurts me, because you’re a decent man. Stop it. Get off it, Donald.”
Shortly thereafter, Trump responded, via Twitter:
“@BarbaraJWalters @theviewtv will apologize to me just like she did when I was right about @Rosie. Besides, I get great ratings on The View.”
And, for good measure:
“@BarbaraJWalters @theviewtv — Why did you choose me as one of the 10 Most Fascinating People of the year last season (and more than once?)”
On David Letterman’s CBS late-night show, taped just hours later Thursday, Trump did not take Babs’s advice.
“What did I miss in this? Why do we want to see President Obama’s college records?” Letterman wondered.
“Transparency. Does that make sense to anybody? Seriously!” Trump responded. “He picks up $5 million for his favorite charity, David — $5 million. From me. Immediately. I’d even go more, to be honest.
“And, here’s the thing — you’d be surprised — I hope everything’s perfect,” Trump continued. “I want it to be perfect. It very well might be.”
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/