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NBC Developing Geriatric Fear Factor Show

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Selma Timkins skydiving without a parachute on Geriatric Fear Factor

Photo: Getty Images/ Matthias Clamer

According to an NBC internal memo, the network is currently developing a version of its hit reality show Fear Factor to be targeted exclusively to senior citizens and called Geriatric Fear Factor. This is the latest in Fear Factor spin-offs currently in production for the series, which includes ones for best friends, couples, twins, and siblings. Geriatric Fear Factor will be targeted exclusively to the 65-105-year-old age group, a marketing segment long ignored on network television, with the rare exception of shows such as The Golden Girls, The Lawrence Welk Show, and religious-themed shows like Highway to Heaven and Touched By An Angel.

Geriatric Fear Factor will have several categories of challenges that would be difficult, upsetting, dangerous, and nearly impossible for senior citizens to experience -- without, of course, that cash prize serving to motivate them to act against their better judgment and risk to their health and life. According to the NBC memo, here is a selection of categories and challenges being developed for the show:

Food
  • Seniors will be required to remove their dentures and then be timed for how quickly they can eat corn on the cob, a candied apple, and peanut brittle.
  • Contestants will each drink a gallon of prune juice, after which they must climb Mount Everest without any bathroom stops.
  • Men and women will be air-lifted onto a leper colony and given two hours to see who can consume the most leper ear wax, toe jam, nose boogers, and belly button lint.
Health Care
  • After their eyeglasses or contact lenses are removed, contestants will be given 30 seconds to find their correct prescription medication behind a pharmacy counter. If they fail, they must take whatever medication they're holding when time's up.
  • They must agree to six office visits and follow-up treatments from an African witch doctor who doesn't speak one word of English.
  • They must pick a drug from behind one of three doors. Depending upon their choice, they must either take a flu shot, some heroin, or some LSD.
Travel
  • Seniors must cross an extremely busy street of rush-hour traffic using their walker -- without stopping once they've started.
  • Seniors on motorcycles must ride up to a Hell's Angels biker gang, push over one of the bikes, give the gang the finger, insult the gang's mothers, and try to elude capture.
  • Seniors must compete in a nude pogo stick race across town while screaming the lyrics to Ozzy Osbourne's "Diary of a Madman" at the top of their lungs.

A spokesperson for the Fear Factor series adds that additional versions of the show are in the early planning stages for the Religious Right, prostitutes, and the mentally challenged.