FOX’s Unan1mous debuts tonight

Following American Idol 5 tonight, FOX debuts a new reality series that has the potential to be completely awesome or totally horrible. The premise of Unan1mous is simple: Nine people are locked in a “bunker” and must make a unanimous decision to give the $1.5 million prize to one of themselves. Adding to that stress, “the longer it takes to make a unanimous decision, the less money there will be to win. If they take too long, they will be left with nothing,” FOX’s web site for the show says.

The cast is, preditably, composed of people who are opposites, like a “gay activist” and a “conservative Republican” who’s a minister. There’s also a “conservative Christian” trucker and a “self-described womanizer.”

Reviews for the new show are mostly bad. While The New York Post’s Linda Stasi says the series “is a fabulously torturous one … and is exactly what I don’t need: another wildly addictive show,” The Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker calls it “appalling” and says it “wallows in repulsive behavior.” And The Washington Post’s John Maynard says it “crams in several of the worst reality show gimmicks and crosses the border of tastelessness … all while remaining flat-out dull,” while The Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert calls it “grotesque,” “contrived,” “numbing slop.”

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