FOX's "Mobbed" special gets series order

TV Arts


Fox Picks Up 'Mobbed' Reality Special To Series With 8-Episode Order

EXCLUSIVE: Great news for flash mob fans. Fox has picked up Howie
Mandel's reality special Mobbed to series with an eight-episode order.

The order follows the solid ratings performance of the special last
night. Airing behind American Idol, Mobbed, which featured an
elaborate surprise marriage proposal involving a large group of
singers and dancers, drew a 3.8/10 in adults 18-49 and 10.8 million
viewers, scoring the largest audience and the highest 18-49 retention
for a reality show airing after Idol in two years. Based on a format
created by Mandel, Darryl Trell and Howard Kitrosser, Mobbed puts a
hidden-camera spin on the "flash mob" phenomenon (large groups of
people suddenly showing up in public places to perform a pre-rehearsed
dance number). It features people throwing elaborate surprises for
friends, family members, loved ones or co-workers. Mobbed is produced
by Alevy Productions and Angel City Factory. Mandel, Trell, Kitrosser,
Chris Cowan, Jean-Michel Michenaud, Michael Rotenberg, Mike Marks and
Kevin Healey are executive producing.
If this trend continues, the only place to find scripted programming is 
going to be the cablets. I can't believe people want to watch this stuff. Oh 
well, to each his own.
The kids think "Flash mobs" came with the internet, but the reality is 

In 1967, there were lots of "spontaneous" events during the Summer of Love
in Haight-Ashbury.  But the reality was they had a Gestetner machine, and
when they wanted something to happen, they'd print up a bunch of flyers
and get people involved that way.  Then the Yippies in New York city would
call Bob Fass's overnight radio show to announce events, like the big 
Yip-In of New York's Central Station.

I'm sure there are other examples, though likely more controlled in that
people would sign up so a group would have their phone number in case
something came up, so it was a sudden reaction to something, but based on
a closed list.

Of course, much of what passes for "flash mob" isn't.  Once the term was
out there, people use it incorrectly (I saw a show being announced and
they mentioned "flash mob") and used for advertising, all those happy 
young people "spontaneously" appearing somewhere to put on a party, and
then the car or beer appears.