For ‘Unan1mous,’ a final twist of fate 

By Jae-Ha Kim
Media Life Magazine
May 10, 2006

It’s become an unwritten rule that reality shows, especially Fox shows, must have unexpected twists. Typically there’s a cruel twist as well. So expect a big one tonight when the season finale of “Unan1mous” at 9:30 p.m. reveals which contestant wins the cash prize of $1.5 million.

Scratch that.

The contestants were told that the winner would get a $1.5 million prize once they made a unanimous decision on who should win all that money. But the longer they took to decide, the less money they will get. Tonight’s winner potentially could end up with just enough to cover a few Happy Meals.

It’s a cruel ending for a moderately successful show, which Fox brought in a couple months ago after various sitcoms failed to generate much interest in the valuable post-“American Idol” slot. The network may well go with reality again next year after “Unan1mous'” relative success.

With a 6.0 average among adults 18-49, “Unan1mous” has retained about half of what “American Idol” averages the half hour preceding it. That’s better than “Stacked” did last year in the same slot. Still, Fox needed to end the show early in the May sweeps to make way for super-sized Idols the next two weeks.

Given the networks love for twists and turns, who knows what it might do for a big finish on Unan1mous. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if the show’s producers ended up giving the remainder of that original prize money to one of the contestants who has already been knocked out of the competition.

The show’s inherent cruelty is that the players think their strategies are helping them become a millionaire, rather then costing them money. Literally.


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