By D.J. Gallo
Special to Page 2

Wednesday evening brings to an end the fifth season of "The Bachelor," as Jesse Palmer confronts the women he rejected with his new love, Jessica, in tow. Palmer, a New York Giants backup quarterback, has given new life to "The Bachelor" franchise -- if not to his own career -- as he has attracted sports fans who wouldn't normally watch a romantic reality series.

Jesse Palmer
Jesse Palmer's appearance on "The Bachelor" could set off a craze.

Television executives have taken notice. When the networks unveiled their 2004-05 lineups to advertisers last week, reality shows were prominent. And nearly all them will include a sports element in hopes of adding viewers.

Take a look at the lineup.

"The Amazing Race" (CBS)
Old Concept: Two teams race around the world, completing required tasks along the way in hopes of winning $1 million.

New Concept: Two elite American sprinters try to complete a 100-meter race in less than 10 seconds without the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in hopes of qualifying for the Olympics.

"American Idol" (FOX)
Old Concept: In America's premier talent show, pop star hopefuls sing hits written by famous songwriters.

New Concept: In America's premier talent show, pop star hopefuls sing the songs of famous athletes -- including the best of Shaquille O'Neal's rap hits, numbers from Deion Sanders' critically-acclaimed 1995 album "Prime Time," and Roy Jones Jr.'s ironic 2002 track "Who Wanna Get Knocked Out."

"American Juniors" (FOX)
Old Concept: America votes for the country's most talented young performers as their overbearing parents look on.

New Concept: America votes to free the country's most overscheduled child athletes from their overbearing parents.

"Anything for Love" (FOX)
Old Concept: A relationship series that chronicles the lengths its participants will go to in their quest for love.

New Concept: A series that chronicles the lengths that tournament directors will go to in their quest to not upset easily-rattled PGA star Davis Love III.

"The Apprentice" (NBC)
Old Concept: Successful businessman and egomaniac Donald Trump fires contestants until one remains for him to hire.

New Concept: Successful businessman and egomaniac George Steinbrenner fires people simply for the joy he gets out of firing people.

"Are You Hot?" (ABC)
Old Concept: A panel of judges rates contestants in a search for the sexiest man and woman in America.

New Concept: A panel of LPGA, WNBA and WTA officials rate the appearances of rookie players to make sure they dress themselves in a sexy and marketing-friendly way.

"Beg, Borrow & Deal" (ESPN)
Old Concept: Two teams "beg, borrow and deal" their way across the country, completing required tasks without any money or resources at their disposal.

New Concept: Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane tries to re-sign his top free agents by begging, borrowing and dealing without any money or resources at his disposal.

"The Benefactor" (ABC)
Old Concept: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gives away $1 million to the contestant of his choosing.

Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban may hire a new coach to emphasize defense more next year.

New Concept: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gives away a $1 million bonus to any of his players who are willing to play defense for more than five minutes.

"Boot Camp" (FOX)
Old Concept: Contestants go through a hellacious "boot camp" led by ex-drill instructors. The contestants vote off the weakest squad members at the end of each episode.

New Concept: New York Giants go through a hellacious mini-camp led by Tom Coughlin. The weakest players file a grievance with the players union at the end of each day.

"Dream Job" (ESPN)
Old Concept: Wannabe sports anchors compete to become an actual "SportsCenter" anchor.

New Concept: Wannabe baseball players compete to become an actual second baseman for the New York Yankees.

"Extreme Makeover" (ABC)
Old Concept: Individuals are chosen to receive an "extreme makeover" of their appearance by a team of plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists, and hair and makeup artists.

New Concept: Athletes are chosen to receive an "extreme makeover" of their form by a team of coaches. Early episodes include a shooting coach for Shaquille O'Neal, a swing coach for Jim Furyk and a batting coach for Craig Counsell.

"Fear Factor" (NBC)
Old Concept: Contestants confront their biggest fears through physical stunts and disgusting eating assignments.

New Concept: Contestants confront their biggest fears through physical stunts and disgusting eating assignments, such as eating finger food served by Moises Alou and staring at a naked David Wells while being fed JELL-O.

"I'm A Celebrity -- Get Me Out of Here!" (ABC)
Old Concept: Celebrities endure hardships for 15 days in hopes of winning a minimal cash reward for charity.

New Concept: Raul Mondesi endures playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 30 days in hopes of earning a minimal salary.

"Jackass" (MTV)
Old Concept: Madmen perform pranks and stunts.

New Concept: Kellen Winslow Jr. talks.

"Joe Millionaire" (FOX)
Old Concept: Twenty women vow for the affections of a man they think is worth more than he really is.

New Concept: Twenty NFL teams vow for the affections of a draft prospect they think is better than he really is. Hosted by Ryan Leaf.

"The Littlest Groom" (FOX)
Old Concept: Women compete for the affections of a midget.

Earl Boykins
Earl Boykins, the littlest potential groom in the NBA.

New Concept: Women compete for the affections of Denver Nuggets guard Earl Boykins.

"The Mole" (ABC)
Old Concept: Contestants take part in mental and physical tests as they compete for prize money while avoiding a saboteur, "the mole."

New Concept: Dermatologists take part in mental and physical tests as they compete for Drew Brees's health-insurance money and the right to remove his mole.

"Mr. Personality" (FOX)
Old Concept: Twenty masked men must rely solely on their personalities as they court the affections of a beautiful, single woman.

New Concept: Twenty psychologists must rely solely on their training as they try to provide Tim Duncan with a personality.

"My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance" (FOX)
Old Concept: A young woman can win $500,000 if she can convince her family to let her marry an obnoxious and overweight man.

New Concept: A young woman can win $500,000 if she can convince her family to let her marry Warren Sapp.

"The Osbournes" (MTV)
Old Concept: Chronicles the wild daily activities of rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his family.

New Concept: Chronicles the boring and subdued daily activities of ex-Yankees middle reliever Donovan Osborne and his family.

"Playing It Straight" (FOX)
Old Concept: A group of men, some of whom are gay, compete for the affections of a single woman.

New Concept: A group of athletes, some of who have been rumored to be gay, compete to prove to their teammates that they are straight. Hosted by Cleveland reliever Kaz Tadano.

"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" (Bravo)
Old Concept: Five gay men give a straight man style tips in hopes of improving his life.

New Concept: Five male figure skaters try to convince an NHL defenseman to bedazzle his jersey and wear glitter on his face.

"The Restaurant" (NBC)
Old Concept: A restaurant entrepreneur tries to make ends meet as he opens his first establishment.

New Concept: A restaurant entrepreneur tries to make ends meet after comping an expensive dinner attended by Jayson Williams and the Harlem Globetrotters.

"Rich Guy, Poor Guy" (ABC)
Old Concept: Two men -- one filthy rich, the other poor -- try to find a wife from the same group of women.

George Steinbrenner
Would The Boss really give a thumbs-up to this reality show?

New Concept: Two baseball owners -- one the Yankees' George Steinbrenner, the other Pittsburgh's Kevin McClatchy -- try to plug their team's holes from the same group of free agents.

"Survivor" (CBS)
Old Concept: Contestants seek to survive under difficult conditions and not be voted off the show.

New Concept: NBA Atlantic Division coaches seek to win with inferior talent and not be fired from their jobs.

"The Swan" (FOX)
Old Concept: Unattractive women get full-body makeovers in hopes of becoming beautiful and winning the show's pageant.

New Concept: Tiger Woods gets a full swing makeover from Butch Harmon in hopes of becoming dominant again and winning a major.

"Temptation Island" (FOX)
Old Concept: Young couples travel to an exotic location and are tempted by single men and women.

New Concept: Bud Selig travels to exotic locations in hopes of finding a home for the Montreal Expos.

"The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" (CBS)
Old Concept: Beautiful, buxom women model Victoria's Secret's latest bras and panties.

New Concept: Flabby, buxom PGA Tour golfers model Victoria's Secret's latest bras.

"Who Wants To Marry My Dad?" (NBC)
Old Concept: A man's children choose from among a group of women to decide which one would make the best wife for their father.

New Concept: Shawn Kemp's children choose among their mothers to decide which one would make the best wife for their father.

D.J. Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine, as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com.




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