TBS Orders Weatherman Competition Series

Steve Miller

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TBS has ordered a late night comedy-reality series revolving around weathercasters that hails from Funny or Die and Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group.

“Funny or Die Presents America’s Next Weatherman” is set to bow at 11 p.m. Aug. 8. The series will feature a competition among 12 contestants — male and female — to win $100,000 and the chance to deliver a weather report on CNN’s “New Day” morning show.

The series will put a comedic twist on reality-competition tropes but producers emphasized that the competition is genuine. TBS has ordered eight episodes. Matt Oberg (“The Comedians,” “The Mindy Project”) is set as host.

“America’s Next Weatherman” promises to take “everything we know — or think we know — about weathercasters and then uses it to put 12 competitors through the wringer for a chance at the big time,” said David Eilenberg, senior VP of unscripted development, latenight and specials for TBS and TNT. “The results are really something. This series is a fresh and extremely funny addition to TBS’ latenight lineup. We’re especially excited that it extends our relationships with both Funny or Die and Mark Burnett.”

The comedic bent of the series reflects the shift in TBS’ reality programming under the new regime at TBS and TNT led by Kevin Reilly. Funny or Die and UAMG developed the concept together.

FOD’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell are exec producing “Weatherman” with Burnett and Dean Houser. FOD’s Seth Morris also helped shape the idea and will serve as a producer.

As the preeminent reality TV producer, Burnett helped establish the template for reality-competition series that will be teased and tweaked on “Weatherman.”

“This will be the first time I’ve poked a little fun – actually a lot of fun – at what I am best known for. It’s a real wink to our audience as we look for the next great meteorologist. The funniest part is that it turns out that these are actually terrific weathercasters,” he said.

“Reading between the lines of what Mark just said, it’s clear that this is the most important show he’s ever made,” Farah said.

UAMG is retaining international rights to the series, which will be distributed by MGM.
 

Warren Faidley

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I was actually chosen as one of the finalists for this show, but I bugged out about a week before the production started due to a contract that was totally unacceptable. For example, they required no outside contact for an entire month. No email, phone calls, etc. The contract also had totally unacceptable penalties of over $1 million if you disclosed even a tidbit of information or disclosed you were on the show. The final straw was giving away your life story and complete control over any future media publicity. This is an edited description, the overall contract was much worse. All this with no guarantee you would come home after a month with anything. You would really be screwed if you came home early and gave all this away for nothing as the contract is still in force. If anyone is contacted, I'll be happy to go over the entire contract to save you some grief.

Warren
 
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rdale

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in stead of this crap why dont they use that money a produce a good ole fashion documentary actually educate people instead of making them stupid just saying.
I'm not sure I completely understand your sentence, but the gist of the answer is that people don't watch good old fashioned documentaries. They watch reality shows. So using money to lose money causes you to not have any more money :)
 

Jeff Duda

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Holy s---, Warren! How desperate ARE some people to agree to such a ridiculous contract? And what do the show's producers think they can offer contestants to make them sign such a restrictive and limiting contract?
 
Dec 13, 2003
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Reality shows are cheap to produce. No high priced directors, no high priced actors and as you can tell the film crews are not top notch either. If they are successful great, if not ( like 90%) no big loss.
Personally I can't stand any of them and agree with mike 100% Yeah, I have been buying a ton of good old fashioned documentaries off Amazon.
 

Warren Faidley

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They never told me anything about "funny." I've turned down so many show pitches I've lost track. The latest pitch was something like "Hurricane Strikers." Just what I need.... a crew tagging along and exposing my hideout right before the storm hits and we all get kicked out. ): BTW... what ever happened to those things called "hurricanes" we use to chase?

Although the publicity from such shows can be "productive," I think we have passed the point of no return with so many shows and the goofy / extreme direction they generally go. I cringe to think of what may have happened if a crew was tagging along when we were involved in that deadly dust storm pileup south of Lamar. It's likely if a crew was leading, and did not know what to do or failed to take immediate directions, they would have been killed.

W.
 
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I was also in the running for this show and made it to the final round of casting. I, too, didn't hear anything about it being a parody or funny, as they were playing up the show to be something that it clearly wasn't. I guess it's a good thing that they flaked out toward the end. I was supposed to hear about within a week after my final video "interview" and never heard anything. I reached out a couple of times and kept getting excuses that the selection process was being delayed. I initially thought that maybe no networks picked up on the pitch, but that ended up being wrong. The whole process wasted a lot of my time with several phone calls, pages and pages of applications and then the final video interview.

I knew things were fishy when ads started popping up around the internet, saying things such as "[are you] a sexy weather girl?" and "NO Meteorology degree or experience needed."

I refused to watch the show, but reviews were generally lackluster to downright bad.