Answers! Dancers! Prancers! Vixens!

By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, October 27, 2006

We realize that earlier this month, when ABC announced William Shatner would host a game show for the network called "Show Me the Money," we wrote that details of the show, which were sketchy in the network's announcement, didn't really matter.

But that was before we heard the details.

Yesterday ABC filled them in.

Turns out we haven't even begun to plumb the depths of stupid to which reality television series can go.

On this particular show, for instance, contestants must answer a minimum of six trivia questions. After each answer, the contestant must choose from among 13 dancers on stage who, ABC assures us, will all be "stunning." Each dancer holds a scroll on which is written a dollar figure to be added or subtracted, for correct or incorrect answers, to the contestant's total.

A correct answer, combined with choosing a dancer holding big money, can catapult the player's winning into the millions. But a wrong answer, and the wrong dancer, can wipe out winnings in an instant.

The Answers and Dancers Show.

But there's more. At any given moment, the 13 Million-Dollar Dancers, as they're called on the show, may spontaneously break into any style of dance and, ABC promises, Shatner spontaneously "boogies with the beauties on stage."

Let's recap, shall we?

1. Trivia questions

2. 13 stunning dancers

3. Scrolls

4. Spontaneous dancing

5. William Shatner boogieing on stage

And suddenly, screaming at briefcases doesn't seem so idiotic, does it? Something almost operatic about it, really.

"Show Me the Money" is getting the 8 p.m. time slot on Wednesday once the current edition of "Dancing With the Stars" wraps next month. But that's where most pundits are expecting NBC to schedule "Deal or No Deal" now that it has moved scripted series "30 Rock" and "Twenty Good Years" out of the hour.

NBC execs announced recently they intend to schedule as much nonscripted programming as possible at 8 across the week, because they aren't getting the kind of ratings they need at 8 to justify the cost of scripted fare.

ABC clearly thinks William Shatner and Million-Dollar Dancers trump Howie Mandel and briefcase babes.

But all that really matters is, do you?

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