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PBS airs ads for fake reality shows

In New York, PBS’s affiliate channel Thirteen has been taking on the state of reality TV. The ads are for such shows as Knitting Wars, Clam Kings, and Bad Bad Bag Boys, and each comes with the accompanying text: “The fact you thought this was a real TV show says a lot about the state of TV.” Embedded in this quiet jab is Thirteen’s mission – making quality programming that enriches the lives of those who tune in, rather than simply leaving them to vegetate in front of the screen.

PBS Hits Our Reality TV Funny Bone

But let’s take a step back. Certainly Cupcake Wars and Knitting Wars share the same sort of innocuous sounding name (how much of a war could that really be? Frosting missiles?). And yet, Cupcake Wars is a real program airing regularly on the Food Channel. And how much stranger is it to have a show about bag boys than about people who are deeply interested in storage units? Reflecting on the programming that fills even primetime television makes Thirteen’s mock shows seem perfectly reasonable.

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