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Fox's Latest Reality Show: 'The Moment of Truth'

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With the strike in week 3, the networks are planning to showcase a fair amount of reality TV in the coming months. And the folks at Fox will soon unveil one of those is-it-genius-or-is-it-the-end-of-Western-Civilization? masterpieces. Introducing The Moment of Truth, a game show in which contestants can win up to $500,000 if they answer correctly—according to a polygraph test—a total of 21 probing personal questions. (Sample stumpers: Do you really care about starving children in Africa? Would you find your husband more sexually attractive if he lost 25 pounds?). Adding to the intrigue/discomfort is the fact that contestants will have to come clean in the presence of family and friends. Based on the highlight reel we watched, brace thyself for awkwardness, gasps, tears, and maybe even a touching moment or two. Creator/executive producer Howard Schultz—the Extreme Makeover guru who spent five years refining Truth; the pilot was originally shot for NBC—explains the appeal of his series thusly: “The world is swimming in B.S. This is a show that exposes all of that.” (And then some: A Colombian version of the series was recently cancelled in the wake of a female contestant’s admission that she had once hired a hit man to kill her husband. Luckily, the hit never occured.) Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell—who says he hasn’t been this jazzed about a new show since Joe Millionaire—promises at least a slightly kinder and gentler Truth here in the States, though he notes with a chuckle: “I would never go on one of my own shows, but I wouldn’t even go near this one.” Hosted by Mark L. Walberg—emcee of Temptation Island—the Truth will be revealed on Jan. 23 after American Idol, which gives the strike-sidelined Stephen Colbert just enough time to work on that inevitable parody: The Moment of Truthiness.