Betty White To Produce And Star In Hidden Camera Narrative For NBC

By Jessica Grabert 2011-03-31 15:25:28 discussion comments
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Betty White, who has worked the last two seasons as part of an ensemble cast on the TV Land program Hot In Cleveland, has now earned herself the lead on a reality show in the same vein as Ashton Kutcher’s Punk’d. The new program, titled Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, is a re-imagining of the Flemish program, Benidorm Bastards. According to Deadline, like Punk’d, Off Their Rockers will be a hidden-camera trickster comedy. Unlike Punk’d, those being tricked will not be well known celebrities but will instead be naïve youngsters…who will be tricked by a band of seven senior citizen comedians. White will act as host and conspirator.

White is also signed on as an executive producer for the series, which has already been picked up by NBC, who has ordered a twelve-episode run. Matilda Zoltowski and Shelter's Tim Van Aelst are also on board as executive producers, and Chris Coelen's Kinetic Content is set to produce. Though NBC is no stranger to comedic re-imaginings—the American version of The Office has been running on the network for the past seven seasons—Betty White’s Off Their Rockers could prove to be an important new addition to the comedic lineup.

Currently, NBC comedy is mostly lumped onto Thursday nights. A couple programs are even filmed in the same mockumentary format, making them familiar, if not reminiscent, of one another. While I’m not arguing programs like Community and 30 Rock and even Parks and Recreation aren’t top notch, it could be a good thing for NBC to go out on a limb and try something new for the network: mixing reality and comedy. It’s not quite Spike Jonze in a fat suit, but it doesn’t sound half bad.
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