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PsiVid

A cross section of science on the cyberscreen

Hey show biz folks! Females can host science TV shows too...

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This morning I came across a few casting notices for some interesting sounding TV shows. These projects are both in development with Asylum Entertainment, a well-established production company with a solid reputation for producing programs that have aired on a number of networks including Animal Planet, TLC, A&E, History Channel and ESPN (just to name a few). One of their latest projects, ‘The Kennedys’ with Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear, was a massive hit this past spring which garnered international acclaim.

It is fantastic to see that such solid production companies are hard at work developing content with scientific merit – something that television generally lacks and very much requires. What’s NOT fantastic however; are their descriptions of their ideal hosting candidates:

Show #1: Monster Machinery

Mike Rowe, host of 'Dirty Jobs'. Photo via discovery.com

This show is looking for two engineer-type hosts that aren’t afraid to re-work the mechanics of various machines/vehicles/appliances for entertaining purposes. Host #1 should have a ‘larger than life’ personality, while host #2 should have a very strong personality and be more serious than host #1. They describe their ideal host #1 as “Mike Rowe meets Mythbusters”, and they specify that BOTH should be males between the ages of 25 and 45.

Anthony Bourdain, host of 'No Reservations'. Photo via anthonybourdain.net

Show #2: Insects (title TBD)

This show seeks a host with a passion for (and solid scientific background in) entomology. In this show our heroic bug-loving host will travel the globe looking for all kinds of crazy insects from the highly poisonous and deadly to the harmless yet menacing. Again, they describe their ideal host as male aged 25 – 45, having a ‘larger than life’ personality, with a description of “Anthony Bourdain traveling the globe seeking out bugs’.

Now, the whole Mike Rowe/Anthony Bourdain angle is obviously something that works – I’ve seen a number of casting notices of similar description, looking for exactly these same kinds of characters for shows in various genres. I get it. Both of these fellas are entertaining hosts and do a great job on their own shows - BUT (and this is a great big BUT) there’s NO REASON to rule out the possibility that a female host could not be just as convincing and charismatic in this kind of role. I’m certain that there are many extremely captivating female engineers and entomologists that could rock these positions – in fact I know many of them personally.

So ladies here’s my advice: let’s make a run at these castings and make a statement about just WHO would be fantastic in a role like this. They may think that a Mike Rowe/Anthony Bourdain is what they are looking for – but they haven’t seen the likes of YOU yet. To contact the casting director for either of these productions send an email to: thetvcastingdirector@gmail.com

 

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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