Scripted reality finds trouble
The “Manhunt” mess continues: Pop culture professor Steve Beverly has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the Paramount-produced UPN reality skein.
In a letter mailed on Sept. 7, Beverly, a professor of broadcasting at Union U. in Jackson, Tenn., accused the show of violating federal rules put in place after the 1950s quiz show scandals.
Beverly is the second individual to send a complaint to the FCC regarding “Manhunt.” Contestant Jacqueline J.K. Kelly filed a complaint with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau last month.
“In my estimation, the producers of this show engaged in deception of viewers in both locale and game mechanics and in manipulation of viewers,” said Beverly, who specifically targeted UPN’s New York affil, the Chris-Craft/News Corp.-owned WWOR.
Writer Peter Lance alleged that the show’s producers, disappointed by a lack of fireworks during “Manhunt’s” January shoot in Hawaii, convinced 12 of the show’s 13 contestants to memorize a script and film new scenes months later in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.
According to Lance, who penned the unauthorized “Survivor” tell-all “The Stingray,” Paramount execs visiting the show’s Hawaii set also intervened to determine which contestants would be eliminated from the game. Paramount and UPN have denied the charge.
“Manhunt” failed to attract much interest with viewers, however. The show aired its final episode last Friday.