Jeff Probst’s Live for the Moment pilot debuts, is like Make a Wish meets The Bucket List

About a year after it was filmed, the pilot episode for Jeff Probst’s Live for the Moment finally airs. The series was originally called Live Like You’re Dying, probably because it follows a terminally ill man who goes on a series of dream-fulfilling adventures that Probst has arranged for him.

The year-long delay doesn’t seem to bode well for it going to series, but really, the reception will determine if the show; promoting the show in Entertainment Weekly, Probst writes, “Love it or hate it, write to me and tell me! Let’s do this together! CBS will read this and if enough people respond… your comments will have an impact on whether we do more episodes or not.”

I’m not the biggest fan of shows that exist to be uplifting (I’d prefer those moments to come organically rather than being forced), but I like Probst as a television personality, so I was interested to see what he’d come up with. But I just couldn’t get into the pilot when I watched it a few weeks ago. It ends up being a sort of televised Bucket List meets Make a Wish, and it’s really great to give someone those kinds of experiences, but it’s somewhat awkward television. (Also awkward: At the very least, it’s in the same subgenre as Phil Keoghan’s No Opportunity Wasted, on which people fulfilled a dream.)

There’s also more telling than showing; I don’t doubt that the subject of the episode (Roger Childs, who is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease) is an amazing guy, but it’s mostly people talking about how amazing he is, and we don’t see him living for the moment in his everyday life, we just get to see him doing things like skiing with Probst. Because of that, it’s not inspirational, at least not in the way that it wants to be. But that is the goal: Probst wrote in EW, “if we did this show right … it may inspire you to live a fuller life.”

Maybe I’m just off here, but I’ll be interested to see what others think, and how it rates. Here’s an extended preview:

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.