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ABC Greenlights "Extreme Makeover: Kony Edition"
ODEK, Uganda (CAP) - Just months removed from the cancellation of its latest Extreme Makeover iteration, ABC programming officials have announced plans to re-assemble the show's cast and launch a new Makeover series featuring Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. The show will combine the down-home love of Extreme Makeover with the sharp publicity tact of The Apprentice.
"If anyone is in need of a makeover right now, it's Joseph Kony," said Ty Pennington, who agreed to reprise his role as host and design team leader. "The man has simply been run through the ringer on YouTube - and with video footage that's like half a dozen years old!
"I tell you, if you haven't seen Joesph Kony lately," added Pennington, "then you haven't seen Joseph Kony."
Pennington will be joined by former Queer Eye stylist Carson Kressley and children's advocate Sally Struthers, along with a dozen other design experts, idea specialists and spin doctors. Struthers said she agreed to take the gig after being assured no children would be harmed in the making of the program.
"I just cried when I realized this may be my last shot at TV fame," Struthers told CAP News. "Then I cried when I thought of the children. Then I cried when a dab of ketchup squirted out from my double cheeseburger as I took a bite."
Film crews have already taped the footage for the first two episodes, both of which will air as part of ABC's "Don't Shit Yourself" block of summer programming. The first episode, tentatively titled Keeping Up With The Kony's, features a look at Joseph Kony away from the public eye, giving viewers a glimpse into other facets of the life of the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army.
"You know, when you abduct 66,000 children and turn them into little soldiers, of course that's all anyone's going to talk about," said series producer John DeMayo. "But what about the other six hours out of the day? The man's got 88 wives - that's a lot of nagging to deal with.
"Episode one picks up where the mainstream media leaves off," added DeMayo. "You're going to get to know the Joseph Kony his 42 children know."
In episode two, Kony Kony Kony Has Done It Again, the film crew chases the wily war criminal through half a dozen African nations in an attempt to begin the makeover, but comes up short every time. Pennington said the episode is like a cross between Amazing Race and "chasing your dog around the yard because you have to give him a bath."
Given the difficulty in locating Kony, producers have also set up a U.S.-based team whose job will be to remake the rebel's image even without his presence. Under the supervision of Struthers, the team will launch Kony's Choice Awards, or The Kony's, as a means of associating Kony's name with things that children like.
"We're also beginning production on Kony Chips, Kony Fruit Snacks, Kony Ho-Ho's, you name it," said onshore production director Seth Harliss. "And for the parents, Kony's Own, a line of low-carb salad dressings and marinades."
ABC confirmed that the network has ordered a full 13-episode season, along with the option for a second and third season if the ratings warrant it.