Thursday, July 07, 2005

Is it Colour or Color?

If Tony Blair would tune in to prime time American network television, he would feel very much at home. Not only are all the so called reality shows British clones, the judges are British as well. (Add a black and latin judge for the ratings.) Case in point: Simon Cowell of American Idol (UK: Pop Idol) and Len Goodman of Dancing with the Stars (UK: Strictly Come Dancing). Both judges probably came with the contract to have an American version of the show. However, you didn't see this with the hosts of Operation Robinson (Survivor), Big Brother or Belgian's De Mol (The Mole). Arent' there any American dancing judges or music experts?

Not only is American television infatuated with the English accent, so is radio. Commercials and announcements are regularly in a true English accent. A good time for aspiring English actors and voice overs in the U.S. I presume.

Why the fetish for English pronunciation? Or is it the overall use of the English language? Are the Brits really the superior country when it comes down the use of the English language? The current assumption is the Lords would smoke the Yanks.

Let's settle it in a duel, or translateded on this side of the pond as "Bring it on!". A new reality show: "Straight A's", based upon the Dutch/Belgian "Tien voor Taal" (10 for language). The original show was co-produced by the VRT, in Belgium, and by the KRO Dutch television channel. It has two teams from both counties dueling on various aspects of the Dutch language. In one episode all team members were librarians. In the next, politicians, or movie stars. You get the idea. The show has been very popular for over 15 years. (Earlier this year, the VRT ended the co-production. The KRO continues the show in Holland.) Here are some ideas for the panels:

  • NFL bad men with tiny voices vs. Liverpool scouse swearing soccer players

  • Texas congresmen vs. Lords of the Common House

  • Stanford vs. Cambridge

  • Princeton vs. Oxford

  • Ellison and co vs. Branson and co

  • Motley Crue vs. The Rolling Stones

  • American Idol vs. Pop Idol

  • BackStreet Boys vs. Spice Girls

  • Wallstreet Journal vs. Financial Times

  • Star vs. The Sun

  • ABC, NBC, FOX: did I mention I optioned the show?

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