MySpace show Independent will award $1 million to potential political candidate

Mark Burnett is teaming with MySpace “to find contestants for a proposed TV show focused on politics that would air early next year as the race for president heats up,” The Los Angeles Times reports.

The show is currently called Independent, and would find its cast on the social networking web site. “MySpace users would run for office by submitting videos and conducting virtual campaigns for votes. The top 100 or so would make it to the TV series, which would end with debates. The winner would get $1 million to give away,” according to the Times.

The Hollywood Reporter says the winner “will be required to either donate [the prize] to a political cause or to their own future political campaign.”

The show does not yet have a network, but Burnett tells the Times that “this has got a very good chance of being a nice synergy between social networking and prime-time TV.” Since News Corp. owns both FOX and MySpace, it’d be surprising if any network other than FOX picked up the show.

MySpace’s CEO Chris DeWolfe said, “We’ve been pitched over the years on a lot of television shows, and we’ve rejected every one. This instantly clicked. A lot of people think the younger generation doesn’t care about politics, and we’ve just empirically seen that not to be true.”

Another political reality series, American Candidate, aired around the time of the last presidential election on Showtime.

‘Survivor’ creator proposes political MySpace TV show [Los Angeles Times]
Burnett partners with MySpace [Hollywood Reporter]

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about the writer

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, 36, 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.