Situation Comedy pilots online for voting; did The WB pick up or rip off one of the shows?

Bravo’s sit-com creation series Situation: Comedy will select its winner based upon a viewer vote. And although the episode during which the pilot presentations are actually created has yet to air, the pilots are now online and voting is open. Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Friday, a few hours after Friday’s episode airs (at 7 p.m. ET).

Those who’ve viewed the presentations don’t give much hope. The AP’s Frazier Moore writes that “[t]he shows it developed were fated to be routine,” and the two options “offer no real choice — either one over the other, or between them and what’s already on the air.” TVgasm’s B-Side is more direct: “they’re both horrendous. Really honest-to-god awful.”

But one network apparently doesn’t think the idea for one of the shows is all that bad. An alert reader pointed out that The Futon Critic’s review of a new WB sit-com sounds strangely familiar to Situation: Comedy viewers. The show is called “Misconceptions,” and The Futon Critic says it’s so bad that “we might have a winner in our unofficial ‘worst comedy pilot’ contest.” The basic plot is as follows: “Chicago-based teen Hopper (Taylor Momsen) wants just one thing for her birthday: for her single, museum-working mom Amanda (Jane Leeves) to let her meet her biological father.” When she finds “her sperm donor,” she finds “he’s just your average, woman-chasing, beer-swilling TV character.”

All of which sounds very much like “The Sperm Donor.” So did The WB pick up the pilot, even though the Situation: Comedy contest has not even ended? Or did the network rip off the concept? Or did more than one group of TV writers have the same bad idea?

Update: The WB show is apparently just a remarkable coincidence, as it comes from different producers and showrunners. Even bad ideas, it seems, show up more than once a year.

Situation: Comedy: Vote now [AOL]
Previewing the 2005-06 Season, Part 14: ABC’s ‘Hot Properties’ & The WB’s ‘Misconceptions’ [The Futon Critic]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.