Tuesday, February 26, 2008
An immaculate concept(ion)
EUREKA! American Inventor, Virgin 1, 9.00pm
Last week we made the somewhat bold claim that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles would revolutionise Virgin 1 and finally make it a must-watch channel. We're not planning to make quite such grand claims about this particular American import, but if you're a Dragon's Den fan who finds the series just lacks that necessary cutthroat competitive edge, perhaps this could be the show for you. Yes, you. With the hair.
Essentially the idea here is that a number of would-be inventors are selected by a panel of judges, including the always lean, always mean, occasional fat reducing grilling machine George Foreman and former Dragon Peter Jones, who also acts as producer - and just for the sake of chronology, this series originally hit the air long before the ill-fated Tycoon - and each gets $50,000 to work on their inventions in the hope of becoming a finalist. There were two series of this, and each one played out slightly differently, though we believe this is in fact the second series, so there will be six finalists, later whittled down to three. We're working off a very scanty billing here, though, so don't blame us if that turns out to be wrong.
It's from the producers of American Idol, so we'd advise you to expect similar amounts of hyperbole and bombast, but probably significantly less singing. Although you never know, do you? Also, the fact that we don't recall a UK-based spinoff called British Inventor suggests to us that this probably wasn't that brilliant. Unless Tycoon was to this as The X Factor is to American Idol, in which case you might be better off just switching your TV off for an hour and staring at the blank screen instead. Don't say we never give you options.