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The talk show host:

“Weight loss success stories.”

“Makeovers.”

“Graduation party ideas.”

“Weird things people eat.”

It was true. There really was nothing new to talk about. All of these suggestions from the producers had been done before, a dozen times over. “We need something new and fresh. Something real. Ratings, people, ratings.”

The new intern spoke up. ‘We’re a morning talk show in a small market. Instead of shooting for higher ratings and more viewers, why not put our viewers on the show? We could hold a contest and some lucky viewer gets to host our morning show in their living room.”

And so it was agreed. The intern and a senior producer were put in charge. The contest was advertised and prizes were lined up. One weekly winner would act as host for that morning’s show, and there would be interesting segments where a chef would cook them breakfast or a fitness expert would work out with them. And at the end of the show a major prize would be awarded based on a real need in the family: a new fridge, gym memberships, a freezer filled with healthy meals and treats, etc.

The campaign was more successful than anyone could have anticipated. They received thousands of entries the first week. Word spread on facebook and twitter and soon all this buzz was reflected in their ratings. Everyone was anxious for the first winner to be announced. 

The first remote, live taping was scheduled for the second week in June. The Browns were a family of four, soon to be five, who lived in a restored and renovated church in the heart of downtown. The crew arrived early and filmed the children getting off to school, followed by a tour of the family’s incredible backyard garden. They had just finished an interior design segment with a local decorator when mom doubled over in pain and started moaning. They kept the cameras rolling as they realized this was the real thing – baby number three was fast approaching. When questioned the mother admitted she had been feeling contractions all morning but didn’t want to disrupt the taping!

Dad jumped into action. With a quick “Sorry guys” to the host and crew he phoned the two midwives who were on standby for just this occasion. He grabbed a small, shallow pool from the spare room. As he began to fill it with warm water he explained to the stunned crew that they had been planning a home birth for number three and they were welcome to stay for the happy event as long as they stayed out of the way.

The crew decamped to the living room while events unfolded in the aptly named family room on the other side of the house. The network agreed to let them continue filming as long as they remembered this was a family show and to stay well away from the “action.” Viewers were delighted to meet little Amber Rose just about an hour later.

As the crew were wrapping up the live taping and mom and baby were resting, the talk show host talked to the interior designer and decided the prize for the family would be a complete makeover of the family room, as a thank you for allowing the morning show a glimpse of life at its best and certainly most “real”.

Next week: If you had one week to live…

This is the latest exercise in my 642 Things to Write About Project. Click on the link to find out more, or click on the category 642 Things to Write About Project to read past exercises.  🙂