Last Page - NBC Ratings Death-Spiral Sires Man-Beast Reality Show

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By Jeff Karr, Photography by Keith May

Burbank, Calif., Feb. 1-Struggling giant NBC, battling a viewer ratings avalanche that threatens to land the once-great network somewhere south of HGTV, has been forced to amp-up its offerings for the traditionally sleepy summer rerun season. Spearheading the planned NBC comeback is the innovative Then Came Bigfoot. Set on the gritty, mean streets of the San Fernando Valley-made famous on the classic CHiPs (NBC, circa 1977)-this daring mash-up is said to blend the wistful on-the-road ennui of Then Came Bronson (NBC, 1969) with the raw, monkey dung-flinging chaos of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (NBC, 1963). Stir in the achingly repressed sexuality of I Dream Of Jeannie (NBC, 1965), sprinkle it liberally with the sweaty determination of The Biggest Loser (NBC, 2004) and you've got Then Came Bigfoot. Plot? Who needs a plot with costumes like this?

But will couch-bound America drop their remotes, pick up their Pringles and "set a spell" with Then Came Bigfoot? Just how low are our standards? Star power just may be the key. Names like Shatner, Pitt, Heston, Clooney and Hasselhoff have been mentioned (though not in relation to this project). We shall see...

One thing is for sure: When Then Came Bigfoot premieres at 8 PM on May 21st, you can bet the Motorcyclist staff will be front and center on the sofa. And if Then Came Bigfoot sucks, we can always bail out and make fun of American Chopper on the DVR.

By Jeff Karr
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