Is It A New Reality?

For fall, the networks say they're dumping Are You Hot? and its ilk in favor of creative quality. Don't be so sure

Announcing their 2003-04 schedules in New York City last week, TV executives said that next fall they will not resort to cheap reality stunts in midseason. All six broadcast networks will rise on the strength of a slew of creative new hits. And a special attachment will allow you to print $20 bills from your cable box.

O.K., I made up the last sentence to make the paragraph more believable. Everyone expects a little overpromising at the annual "upfronts," the expensive stage shows at which networks show trailers from their fall debuts and literally put on a song-and-dance for advertisers....

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