. . . Monday April 26, 2004

Will Cuban Mark the Spot

It’s not so easy to bottle magic. Look at last weekend’s Iron Chef America. The show’s producers were probably sure they had a winner. So was I when I highlighted it in this very blog. You had the American chefs, the elements of the Japanese show. How could it miss? Well, it did.

What was missing? Basically everything that makes the real Iron Chef great. The quirks. The translations. The host. You can’t have someone just come in and replace the wonderfully odd, yellow-pepper munching MC Takeshi Kaga.

Look at it this way. You couldn’t have Neil Sedaka fill in for Ozzy and expect The Osbournes to work. Neil Diamond maybe. Diamond is basically what Ozzy would have evolved into if he could have handled his drugs.

So I wonder if the Apprentice-like reality series featuring Maverick Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will work. After all, it’s not that we just need any billionaire. And it’s certainly not the thrill of the competition. Trump was what America loved about The Apprentice. What are the odds that Mark Cuban can be (at least in terms of entertainment value) another Donald?

Although we shouldn’t write Cuban off. Anyone who could make more than a billion off of something as ultimately worthless as Broadcast.com certainly has luck on his side.

Concentration is important!