'Real Wedding Crashers' to Follow 'Heroes' Down the Aisle

By Lisa de Moraes
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

You snubbed Aaron Sorkin's civics lesson masquerading as a late-night comedy show.

You ignored Paul Haggis's "Sopranos" wannabe masquerading as a drama about hot Irish mob brothers.

And now, you're going to get exactly what you deserve Mondays at 10 p.m.: an NBC reality series about fake wedding crashings.

"The Real Wedding Crashers," NBC says in its news release -- actually it screams it in all caps -- "is from THE STUDIO BEHIND THE SMASH COMEDY 'WEDDING CRASHERS,' " as well as "Punk'd" producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg.

It will debut on Monday, April 23, following what one trade paper calls "the premiere episode of the third installment of the first season of the net's smash 'Heroes.' "

Yes, it's come to that. When a network deigns to put on an original episode of one of its new shows, it's now heralded as "the premiere episode of the third installment of the first season" of a smash hit.

And, yesterday's announcement came just days after NBC Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly stood in front of advertisers and invoked the name of former NBC great Grant Tinker, promising NBC would once again live by that former CEO's motto: First be best, then be first.

NBC has ordered six one-hour episodes of what it swears will be an "outrageous" show in which five "quick-thinking, hilarious" improv performers (thank goodness they didn't hire the slow-thinking, morbid improv performers) pose as wedding staff and guests, with the knowledge of the bride and groom, to save their wedding vows from being an exercise in "run-of-the-mill boredom."

At the end of each show, viewers will be "treated to a huge reveal when the 'crashers' admit to their pranks."

All this hilarity is somber news for the producers of "Black Donnellys." It's being yanked after its eighth broadcast on Monday nights; only twice with the advantage a lead-in by "the net's smash 'Heroes.' " Last week, "Donnellys" clocked about 5.4 million viewers following a "Deal or No Deal" episode that had averaged more than 12 million.

* * *

The woman admired by millions for announcing that life was not worth living in a world in which Sanjaya Malakar is crowned "American Idol" has not only tossed in the towel on her hunger strike after a mere 16 days, she's also sold out to an online dating service for fitness nuts.

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