The Branson Called You

Richard Branson, the high-energy CEO of Virgin, has signed on with Fox to develop a new reality TV show. Like the business moguls Mark Cuban and Donald Trump before him, Branson will challenge contestants to overcome a series of challenges in order to join his organization.

A New York Daily News article calls the wave of TV shows “billionaire entertainment.”

Brad Adgate, director of research at Horizon Media, said the nets are hot on the mogul reality wave because they see an opportunity to reach affluent viewers who are hotly sought after by advertisers. But the nets have been hush-hush on how these business kingpins will take home.

Oh, so? I don’t see the billionaire appeal. If anything, I think the formula remains the same: self-improvement. In “Average Joe,” the hope was to get the girl. In “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” it was to improve your image. For “American Idol,” it’s stardom. And for these business-related shows, I don’t think the appeal is for billionaire viewers at all.

The appeal is for people who want to improve their situation. People who want a launch pad to a better career, to develop an idea, to create their own business. What do you think?