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HOLLYWOOD (CAP) - With her long-running reality show Kate Plus Eight coming to a close, blonde starlet Kate Gosselin won't be sitting on the sidelines for long. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gosselin has inked a deal with TLC to appear alongside Tom Bergeron as co-host of a new show called Kids Touch The Darnedest Things.
"We think Kate is a perfect fit for this show - you know how much she loves the kids," said TLC Director of Programming Eric Black. "And when it comes to family humor, no one brings it like Tom Bergeron.
"Well, except maybe Bob Saget, but he wasn't available," Black added.
Similar in format to the Bill Cosby-led Kids Say The Darnedest Things, the new show features children of various ages paraded in front of a live studio audience after "having gotten into something." And those things can range from the innocuous slice of pizza to mommy's makeup bag to "shit we don't even know what it is," said Black.
"As much as the show is about the kids, it's really Kate's reaction to coming within five feet of the kids that drives this puppy," said TLC Programming Coordinator John Hein. "Sprinkle in some well written and superbly delivered zingers by Tom and we've got ourselves a ratings juggernaut."
Hein said part of the show involves trying to get the younger children to sit on Kate's lap and to help facilitate that, producers will be offering back stage incentives to the children if they're able to do so. Kate will be supplied with washcloths, wipes and other disinfectants as her stress level progresses throughout each episode, culminating in the 36-year-old mother "almost losing it" at the end of every show.
"We've already pre-taped a few episodes and in one, we didn't realize the hand sanitizer we gave her was pretty much empty," said the show's executive producer Bill Hayes. "It was like watching someone whose car has stalled on the train tracks and they're trying desperately to get the car door open as the train bears down on them. It was great!
"Just enough positive reinforcement to keep her from storming off stage - that's our goal," said Hayes. "Toss in the paycheck she's getting and we don't think she'll be going anywhere anytime soon."
Critics are already panning the show as "exploitative TV at its finest" but as CAP News staff psychologist Stephanie Venditto points out, it's 'reality' shows like this that keep the rest of us "grounded in our own reality." She says that thanks to eclectic stars like Kate Gosselin, a whole generation of parents realizes they aren't doing as bad a job as they thought.
"Feeding your kids mac 'n cheese for dinner three nights this week doesn't look so bad now, does it?" said Venditto. "Sacrificing one self-centered, manipulative bitch does more for the greater good than a dozen parenting magazines showing you how to cut fruit into fun shapes so your children will eat it."
Producers say they do plan to have a psychologist on hand during every taping in the event any of the children are traumatized after spending more than two minutes in Kate Gosselin's presence.
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