Have you been watching Mark Burnett’s new reality show On The Lot? Well, if the Nielsen numbers are to be believed, then the answer is probably no. The show seems to be struggling to find an audience at the moment, with Monday’s two-hour episode, featuring the premiere of each contestant’s short film being judged by a celebrity panel, came fifth in its time slot. Yikes… a reality show that’s not performing well for Fox? That’s gotta be something they weren’t prepared for.
I have to admit, I’ve been enjoying the show and I think that most movie buffs would also get something out of it, but the sudden switch in format from last week may have thrown a lot of viewers off. (It also probably didn’t help that judge Brett Ratner was replaced by Disturbia director D.J. Caruso… what gives?) The first couple of episodes were more along the lines of The Apprentice, showing the various young filmmakers learning to work together and dealing with the pressure of deadlines. This week it became a more straightforward American Idol-style show, with the short films playing before a studio audience and viewers at home voting. I was hoping they’d go back and forth between both styles, but it’s looking like the behind the scenes stuff was just a one time thing, which is kind of a shame. Personally I’m pulling for Canadian contestant Zach Lipovsky, whose special effects driven films remind me of a young Michel Gondry. I just hope the show can actually stay on the air long enough to crown a winner. If you’re in the U.S., you can watch full episodes online over at www.thelot.com.