Best of 2023

Ten Sure-Bet Reality Shows Canceled After Initial Approval

Donner Party

Pitch: Survivor meets Top Chef, when this week’s contestants cook last week’s losers.

Reason for cancellation: After entire first season was filmed, show was vetoed by corporate lawyers for on-screen cannibalism.

College Admissions Cage Match

Pitch: Fifty top-achieving high school seniors, one ticket to Harvard.

Reason for cancellation: “Donation to endowment” for guaranteed spot for winner exceeded show’s production budget.

Celebrity Bake-over

Pitch: Celebrities try their skills at improving recipes for cakes, pies, and other confections.

Reason for cancellation: Sponsors pulled out when liberal groups threatened to boycott if the show used gas-powered ovens and stoves, but conservative groups threatened to boycott if the show used electric ones.

Big Mother

Pitch: Cameras installed in the basements of 15 live-at-home male Gen Zers; the mother of the one who moves out first wins $100,000.

Reason for cancellation: After six months of filming, the only activities captured on film were eating DoorDash-ed Taco Bell, video gaming, and masturbating to screenshots of Elon Musk.

Kings of the Quarter-Mile

Pitch: Ten crack auto racing teams, each getting an identical 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, vie for drag-race supremacy.

Reason for cancellation: Filming at track in Kissimmee, Florida halted when state officials saw in permit applications the terms “Trans,” “drag,” and “race supremacy.”

Crypto Summer

Pitch: Nine Silicon Valley whiz-kids compete to build the next big cryptocurrency exchange.

Reason for cancellation: All footage seized as potential evidence by the Security Exchange Commission.

Sex and the Ditty

Pitch: A dozen hot bachelor troubadours compete to write the perfect love song, for a lusty night with an anonymous celebrity.

Reason for cancellation: After one bachelor accused another of plagiarism, an investigation found that every contestant had written their songs using A.I.

Locker Room Confidential

Pitch: Follows the trials and tribulations of a Major League Baseball team across an entire season.

Reason for cancellation: Team under consideration was the New York Mets.

House of Representatives Republican Freedom Caucus

Pitch: No-holds-barred political brawling in America’s halls of power.

Reason for cancellation: Test audiences found Marjory Taylor Greene not believable as a real person.

Faculty Food Fight

Pitch: For college faculty, the more petty the stakes, the more bitter the fight.

Reason for cancellation: Producers could not find a college department that could come to agreement on what portions of episodes would be included in departmental meeting minutes; also, who cares?