Fans of Big Brother, Jersey Shore—and, I guess, Survivor, if the apocryphal tales about making it in Hollywood are to be believed—have got another reason to hump their sofa legs for the next couple of months. Tonight sees the debut of If I Can Dream, the new show from Simon Fuller, on the streaming video site Hulu. (This is the showbiz svengali called Simon who isn't the other showbiz svengali called Simon, although his hair is similar and they have both worked together on American Idol and, although they both know the Spice Girls, it was Simon Fuller who made Girl Power a war cry for tweenagers. Girl Power!)
The 90-second promo of the show makes a wet dream look like the dry season in the Gobi Desert—it's the Hollywood equivalent of Uncle Sam's I Want You campaign, if such a campaign were needed, that is. The evocative pipes of Elvis, lingering shots of five impossibly pulchritudinous young 'uns in underwear wafting around an impossibly beautiful house. A cross between Idol and Big Brother, the show—the first to be streamed via the Internet on Hulu— follows a wannabe model, three actors and a musician as they try to make it big in the town of Tinsel. The social media presence is overwhelming. You can tweet, FB, MySpace, blog and sms the quintet and, if one of them should make it big, vote to choose their replacement.
Fuller describes If I Can Dream as "the dawning of a new age," claiming that the video world of authentic real time interaction is "the next frontier (in entertainment.)" The basic set up is this: A weekly, 30-minute round-up, but round-the-clock access to the five hopefuls' life, thanks to 50 cameras set up throughout the house. No doubt, TV movers and shakers will be glued to their screens tonight to see whether it works or not. And then the twittersphere will, no doubt, be thick with opinionated tweets from one exec to another.