Reality Show Pitches for Politicians

Television pilot pitches starring some of the most publicized potential candidates of the 2012 presidential election.

By: Tim Young

If Mitt Romney loses the race for the White House, could he be TV’s next reality-show host? Illustration by Antony Hare.

It’s pilot season for the TV networks, which means everyone is hoping to land the next big reality series. After Sarah Palin’s Alaska teamed the former John McCain running mate with producer Mark Burnett, the inventor of Survivor, there’s no shortage of possibilities for the genre. We got our hands on one network’s pitch sheet.

The Bachelor: 9-9-9

It's The Bachelor meets America’s Next Top Model. Herman Cain and two other judges rate possible new companions. The perfect score? 9-9-9, of course.

Celebrity Gay Rehab With Marcus and Michele

It’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy flipped on its head—a straight guy, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, and his congresswoman wife, Michele, make over the lifestyles of gay celebrities and rid them of unwanted homosexual tendencies.

I Like Firing People

Hosted by Mitt Romney, it’s a cross between Donald Trump’s The Apprentice and the George Clooney movie Up in the Air. No business tasks, no catty infighting, all boardroom, all firings. Weekly opening montage depicts Romney walking past very poor people.

Jon’s Excellent Adventure

Unemployed former ambassador heartthrob Jon Huntsman travels the back roads of America on his custom Harley motorcycle, sharing a meal with each of the 12 people who supported his presidential campaign. MTV’s Road Rules meets American Chopper, with a bit of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives mixed in.

In Joe’s House

MTV’s Cribs meets Pimp My Ride meets The West Wing. Each episode follows a lonely Joe Biden around the pimped-out Naval Observatory grounds as he details the hidden bunkers and emergency exits. Bonus: low staff costs—no need to hire writers, just wind Joe up and he’ll talk for an hour straight.

Snooki & John Strike Back

America’s favorite orange superhero duo—Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Speaker of the House John Boehner—team up to fight President Obama’s evil tax on tanning beds. Special guest during sweeps month: George Hamilton.

Santorum Reads the Classics

The one-and-only Rick Santorum—the sultan of spontaneity, the emperor of energy, the prince of pizzazz, the viceroy of vibrancy—reads a Russian novel or French philosopher out loud each week in a darkened studio, illuminated by a single spotlight. Late-night time slots only.

Are You Smarter Than the Texas Governor?

It’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? with a twist: Actual ten-year-olds compete to see if they’re brainier than Texas governor Rick “Oops” Perry. Sudden-death segment: naming any Supreme Court justice.

This article appears in the March 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.