This week, NASA announced that its Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a group of seven earthlike planets orbiting a red dwarf sun just 40 light years away from our solar system. All of these planets could hold life, and three of the planets reside in the “habitable zone,” which means that the chances that they have water and life-forms is even higher.
While the discovery of the exoplanet system, named TRAPPIST-1, is a giant step toward finding out if we are not alone in the universe as well as a giant step toward possibly populating other planets, we think it may also be a great opportunity for new reality television shows. Here are seven ideas to get us started — one for each new exoplanet.
Over the past 17 years, we have watched 33 groups of brave souls do their best to survive in the wilderness on Survivor, from the plains of Africa to the remote islands of Panama to the coast of Cambodia. Why not take a big leap and strand some people on a TRAPPIST-1 exoplanet and see if they can "outwit, outplay and outlast" while 235 trillion miles from the nearest McDonald’s? We bet Tribal Council would be a little more intense, and maybe Jeff Probst would be a little less smug if he weren't returning to the creature comforts of civilization between shoots.
All the glamour. All the outfits. All the catfighting. None of the opulent backdrops. In the opening season of The Real Housewives of TRAPPIST-1, we will meet seven women who have come to the planet so their partners can work as scientists, engineers and cultivators. While their spouses try to engender life in this new land, giving the human race a future filled with hope, the Housewives will gossip, start gaudy jewelry lines, work on pop singles and throw drinks at one another. We'd watch from Day 1.
Kanye West thinks that he’s the greatest person on Earth — but how does he stack up against the rest of the galaxy? In Kanye’s World, the world-renowned rapper will get a chance to move his luxurious lifestyle alongside wife Kim Kardashian and their two children to an entirely different planet. What kind of space fashion will they develop together that will both protect them from the harshness of their alien environment and also look fly? Will West become an actual space cadet instead of one in name only? Will they miss the paparazzi? We’ll have to find out on Season 1.
Kody Brown and his four wives have opened their homes to TV audiences for seven seasons now, sharing their polygamist lives with us and showing us that in many ways, all families share a lot in common. However, one big difference between most families and the Brown family is the latter's ability to have lots and lots of kids. In Sister Wives: Populate!, polygamist families would be given the challenge of starting a new colony on an exoplanet as fast as they can. Soon, we can only guess that the barren landscapes would be filled with cul-de-sacs of sister wife units juggling lots and lots of babies and arguing about normal, everyday family things.
If you thought The Bachelor was overwhelmingly competitive here on Earth, you should get ready for The Bachelor: Last Man on the Planet, in which a group of beautiful women vie for the heart and the hand of literally the only bachelor within trillions of miles. Not only is competition extremely fierce, but you should note that the rose ceremony will involve a horrifying flowering alien plant that has deadly thorns, acid petals and a carnivorous diet.
This is truly the original reality show, in which MTV decided to put seven strangers together in a house so we could find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. On The New Real World, find out what happens when the seven strangers are literally put on a new real world. Will there be more or less bickering and romance as the young singles realize that by the time they return to their home planet, all their loved ones will be long dead? This will be better than that season when they lived in the cool converted fire station.
In past seasons of Top Chef, the contestants have had to cook with everything from blowfish to geoduck to monk fish liver to duck testicles to goat. But imagine if everything they had to cook with was alien plant and animal species. Instead of being let loose in Whole Foods for 30 minutes before heading to the kitchen, they will roam the mountains and plains of a truly foreign land hunting and gathering what they dare. We imagine it won't be as bad as that time Miguel made pork ice cream as long as the contestants can avoid accidentally poisoning the judges.
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