Will Bigham wins On the Lot and Steven Spielberg actually shows up

If someone had offered to bet me that we would have actually seen On the Lot‘s finale air on television, I would have laughed at them and taken the bet. Incredibly, the show survived, despite being cut down, hemorrhaging viewers, and becoming a lame Idol clone. It was even nominated for an Emmy, but just for its theme song–not Most Annoying Symmetrical Hand Gesture Host.

Will Bigham won, beating runner-up Jason Epperson; Adam Stein came in third. Will gets a $1 million development deal with DreamWorks. Announcing the winner in a faux-awards show style, Adriana called the show “On the Lot 2007″ twice, as if there will be a 2008.

Before the results were revealed, Adriana explained last week’s online voting failure: “While Internet voting was unable to happen because of a severe technical issue, the toll-free and text voting response was overwhelming. In fact, voting was up an incredible 60 percent over our previous record-breaking week.” Notice how she didn’t actually say how many people voted, probably because the audience would laugh, thinking she was joking.

At first, it didn’t seem like Steven Spielberg would appear during the finale, as he was scheduled to do, even though the entire world would have forgiven him for skipping out to avoid embarrassment. Spielberg got a mention in Adriana’s script that made it seem like he wasn’t going to be there: “Your new boss Steven Spielberg is waiting to find out, and so is this man, Adam Goodman, president of DreamWorks pictures,” she told the finalists, suggesting that Goodman had drawn the short straw and had to sit in the studio through the whole padded finale.

But the show actually ended with Will talking to Steven Spielberg briefly at DreamWorks’ gates, and Spielberg even mentioned some of Will’s films by name–as if he’d watched his own crappy show.

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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.