Friday, May 4, 2012

At least five new motorcycle reality shows vie for airtime

Talk about your garage monster. This 1,300 pound Merlin V-12 motor will power Falcon Motorcycle's stunning 'Albatross' motorcycle, and is the mechanical star of a forthcoming reality TV show.
My friends in advertising know that this time of year is important to the the television industry, and not just because it's the only time anyone in the U.S. watches hockey. It's also the 'upfront season,' when networks pitch up-and-coming shows to big advertisers and media buyers, in the hopes of selling the ad time, well, up front.

Of course, most of the attention in upfronts is paid to the biggest potential draws -- shows like Fox's X-Factor, and Glee, or ABC's Dancing With The Stars -- the Big Four networks will sell about $10 billion in ad time over the next few weeks, in shows like that.

But, in the 500-channel universe (not to mention the 50,000-channel YouTubeVerse) there are plenty of motorcycle-themed shows being floated past advertisers. Here are five motorcycle reality shows being pitched right now:

Next American Hero
In this show, cameras will follow perennial AMA backmarker (no relation) Johnny Rock Page as he travels the country with his leathers and helmet... pitching a reality show about himself to TV networks.

Don't Mind Drake
This is being touted as the first TV show about a web show. A camera crew details the day-to-day travails of the producer assigned to Drake McElroy's mind-numbingly self-aggrandizing web series.

The Big Biker Build-Off Wank-Off
Discovery has high hopes for this new concept, which will take viewers into the writing rooms of popular 'reality' shows like Jesse James Monster Garage and whatever that one is with the Teutels. TBBBOWO, which entertainment writers have already dubbed TBBBOWO (the pop acronym is another hint this show is here to stay) will feature the previously anonymous (and un-represented by the WGA) scribes who create these 'unscripted' shows, as they compete amongst each other to make the 'star' of their show appear to be the biggest wanker.

Noblesse Oblige
The only motorcycle-themed reality show that will run on a major network, CBS will air 'Noblesse Oblige,' which it is co-producing with the BBC.
     This show will follow Falcon Motorcycles' principals Ian Barry and Amaryllis Knight as they run a 'Bachelor'-style contest among California millionaires, to determine who'll get to own Falcon's next creation -- the audacious 'Albatross', a one-of-a-kind bike powered by a 1,000+ horsepower, 27-liter V-12 Merlin engine.
     In a coup, the media-savvy Barry & Knight have managed to sign both Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien to sit on their judging panel. We should see more sparks fly than you'd get disc-grinding a titanium case guard.
     At the end of the series, who will be handed the coveted platinum Whitworth wrench that fits the Merlin valve-adjustment nut, and signifies that the holder's earned the right to forfeit $8.9 million for this nine foot long, 1,600-pound motorcycle? Will it be a TV or movie star? A pop singer? A Scientologist? Or that renegade venture capitalist from Silicon Valley (perhaps the only place in America that's even more entitled than Hollywood)?..

Keshub Manhindra, the Chairman of the Mahindra Group -- one of India's largest motorcycle makers and sponsor of India's Moto3 entry-- is one of India's most powerful industrialists, with a luxury home in Delhi and a sumptuous summer compound in the Uttar Pradesh. But while he's a maharaja at work, he's run ragged and hopelessly henpecked at home by his five daughters.
The first episode of Mahindrance! focuses on the business dreams of the relatively homely Chandra (seen here in hat with gold coins.) Viewers who hang in there for the second episode get a treat when the super-hot Aadhira (far right) signs up for a charity wet-sari contest, only to learn that one of the judges is Keshub's bitter rival, the CEO of Indian Enfield.
     Mahindrance! is a cross between Monster Garage, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and Bend It Like Beckham, all seen through a colorful 'Bollywood' lens. This is the sleeper among motorcycle reality shows.

Temporarily on hiatus...

When motorcyclist and sustainability yogini Susanna Schick was knocked off her bicycle by an L.A. hit-and-run driver, her injuries knocked a hole in Lifetime's schedule. The chick network had scheduled Schick's show, 'Resistance,' to start this fall, but it is now delayed at least six months. In her new show, Schick tries to convince several well-known female riders; land-speed racer Susan Robertson, drag racer Angele Seeling, road racer Elena Myers, and MXer Ashley Fiolek to give up their ICE-powered bikes in exchange for EVs with the bottom end grunt of a 250, the top end of a 125, and the range of a Top Fuel dragster.


  1. great idea for a show, but it's the first I'm hearing about it! I think they're talking about someone pretending to be me. Or you just made that up, right? ;-P

    1. Let's just say, we all know that you _should_ have your own show... The other shows are, um, more what you'd expect from a system that is tuned to produce dreck.

  2. great article, Mark! thanks! i was just thinking as a writer how would you craft an interesting show for motocycle riders! could we ask your fans what they would like to see? what would they find interesting that Sons of Anarchy isnt already doing?

  3. We don't need a reality TV motorcycle show. We don't need SOA frankly. How about My Classic Bike a spin off of My Classic Car, Dennis Gage is even a motorcycle enthusiast. Take leno's Garage and put it on network TV.