Television Cul-de-Sac Mystery: Why Was Reality Show Killed?
A year ago, Stephen Wright and his partner, John Wright, embarked on a sociology experiment that only a reality show producer could concoct: theirs was one of seven families competing to persuade the residents of a cul-de-sac here to award them a red-brick McMansion purchased on their behalf by the ABC television network.
The unscripted series, "Welcome to the Neighborhood," was heavily promoted and scheduled to appear in a summer time slot usually occupied by "Desperate Housewives." Stephen Wright, 51, who was already living in a nice house a few miles away with his partner and adopted son, said he participated primarily for one reason: to show tens of millions of prime-time viewers that a real gay family might, over the course of six episodes, charm a neighborhood whose residents overwhelmingly identified themselves as white, Christian and Republican.
As it turned out, the Wrights did win - beating families cast, at least partly, for being African-American, Hispanic, Korean, tattooed or even Wiccan - but outside of a few hundred neighbors (who attended private screenings last summer) and a handful of journalists, almost no one has been able to see them do so.
Why? Because they NEVER AIRED IT. And the whole connection to Narnia -- Disney/ABC possibly backing out of b/c they were courting Christian groups -- makes me wanna scream. You'd think my reflexes would be worn out after many such stunts, but no, apparently not.