Is A “Running Man” TV Show In Our Future?

Empire-News-Is-A-Running-Man-TV-Show-In-Our-Future-Op-EdThe World Cup is underway in one of the most notorious countries in the world for sports based murders, Brazil.  The opening ceremonies were beautiful until they were scarred by riots and tear gas.  People are upset about how much Brazil is paying out to put on the World Cup, and they showed their anger with riots and car tipping.  With that minor hiccup over, the World Cup was well underway.  The first game went off without a hitch and everything was beautiful – and then came the second game.  Tensions were high with the buzzers and spinning-horn things sounding in unison.  Like a firework, the game was off with a bang.

The sportsmanship didn’t last long, however.  Call after call, the referees kept making shaky calls about sides and unsportsmanlike conduct.  The last straw soon came.  The whistle blew, the red card flew, and the stands emptied.  With a quickness the crowds rushed the field only to be met by SWAT teams with batons and shields.  The shields and batons were of little use against the 100,000+ people storming towards them like a giant tidal wave.  Swiftly the crowd swept up the referee.  Just as quickly as they grabbed him, they started cutting. Just as quickly as they started cutting, it was over.  Pieces of referee were flying through the crowd.

In that brief few minutes of horror, no single televised event, scripted or otherwise has ever achieved a ratings spike like that.  The media quickly grabbed that clip and went running mad with it.  Their ratings soon spiked as well.  Sports networks did the same, and again the same happened.  This is when Dough Herzog, President of Viacom Media Networks had an Epiphany.

“I figured with all the hype these clips are getting, and all the hype MMA, WWE, and all the war footage gets, this was the next logical step.”  Herzog said.  “If we can show these atrocities on television, why couldn’t we show it with willing participants?”  He then threw his idea into the water to see if it would get any nibbles.  “SpikeTV, MTV, and FX all wanted a piece of this pie. We decided to settle on SpikeTV – a real man’s-man kind of network. That’s who this new show is going to appeal to the most.”

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The show Herzog was talking about was a “Running Man” like game show, where contestants (death row inmates, or inmates that have committed serious crimes) have to work together to solve a series of puzzles, all while being stalked by “The Hunters.”

“The Hunters were my idea.” Herzog gloatingly stated.  “I love the idea of an ominous enemy that is looming around every corner.”  Herzog himself formed a committee to find these “Hunters”.  He acquired a mercenary group from deep in the heart of South Africa who used to hunt poachers, and kill smugglers of diamonds.  “These people are ruthless.  You show them the beheading footage and they just eat breakfast and make jokes about other things.  Totally jaded.”

Unfortunately for the inmates involved, if they win they do not get a full pardon, as portrayed in the Running Man and other similar film rip-offs.  They do however get to live the rest of their days out in lavish luxury in a Camp Cupcake style penitentiary, still maximum security.  “Still, that lifestyle change is worth almost dying, and potentially killing for, after living in the squalor that is the American Prison System.” Herzog said.  “Everyone we have surveyed except a select few believe that this entertainment would be amazing, and totally worth DVR-ing.”

The as-yet-untitled show will air on SpikeTV sometime next year, assuming that Viacom can work out legal details with the prison system and inmates. So far, there does not seem to be any pushback from Merl Johnson, the Chairman of the Federal Board of Prisons, who would be working with Viacom and producers to choose inmates for the show.

It seems that we are on the dawn of a new day, and the new day will be televised murder – with prizes!

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