Every big news story these days seems to be turned into a reality show deal—from the polygamist family in Utah, to the disgruntled Jet Blue employee, and now the Chilean miners who were rescued yesterday.
Hollywood sees only one thing when it comes to the Chilean Mine tragedy: dollar signs. And the victims definitely aren’t complaining.
Since the rescue yesterday, several of the miners have been making the rounds on the morning show circuit. They became walking billboards for Oakley with the protective eyewear they were handed upon returning to ground level. The company was nice enough to send each man a $450 pair of shades. Free advertising with a tax write-off? Cha-ching!
And that’s just the start of it. One miner, Edison Pena, was offered a trip to Graceland after mentioning he was a fan of Elvis Presley. He’s also been gifted Elvis Presley swag, a dream come true for a man who has never left Chile.
And it seems the miners weren’t the only ones saved—Larry King's live coverage on the event helped boost his ratings, which have been lackluster in recent weeks. Discovery channel is following suit, announcing today that they will air “Rescued: The Chilean Mine Story” on October 28.
The documentary will feature exclusive footage and interviews with the miners, their relatives, rescue workers and Chilean officials. The network has also landed a interview with the mining minister and President Sebastian Piñera, as well as never-before-seen footage of the operation and family reunions.
And cue the reality shows. Spike TV just announced their new series entitled, “Coal,” which will focus on the underground action in West Virginia.
Spike TV defends their action stating that the project has been in development for months, long before the Chilean incident. We can’t deny that the timing couldn't have been more perfect. The show will begin in April with 10 episodes.
Yes, the world has been captivated with this story. It's been a trending topic on twitter for the past week and every news outlet has covered it. Yet the question remains, will you even remember this international news story next week? Perhaps a phenomenon such as this have become no more than yet another publicity ploy and excuse for more unscripted television on our already-overcrowded DVR queues.