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The Mole: What If?

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With the departure of Anderson Cooper, two questionable “celebrity” seasons, a revamped season over the summer, and a YouTube campaign to save the show; ABC’s The Mole may never be seen on television again. The reality show may have tried to outsmart even the viewers with its cryptic messages, clues to who the mole was, and dramatic editing. So maybe the show could work better on a cable network. Sure the show’s prize may have to be reduced, or they find blatant sponsors (like Travelocity is to The Amazing Race) to help fund missions, but this show is too smart to go out without a fight. Here are some ideas if The Mole made a move to cable networks. Clearly, not all of them are that plausible, but I guess something is better than nothing.

If The Mole was on: The History Channel
Sponsors: Encyclopedia Britannica
Final Product: The show would obviously be more historical, but could use ideas from espionage from the past. Imagine a Red Scare, figuring out who is the mole. The idea of McCarthyism spreading throughout the contestants is an interesting idea. There would be less “extreme” physical challenges in lieu of more espionage missions. They should entail any combination of the following: A library, laser beams, physical puzzles, brain teasers, fire, crawling, and/or camouflage.

If The Mole was on: The Travel Channel
Sponsors: An airline company, possibly Delta
Final Product: The show could probably take a lot of cultural knowledge and force the contestants to adapt to that country. Maybe go to different countries to learn about their infamous “moles.” Have challenges inspired by that. Possibly put disgusting food challenges.

If The Mole was on: ABC Family
Sponsors: Energizer
Final Product: Keep the show similar to the fifth season. Hey, since it’s ABC they probably could just get away with minimal adjustments and reduce the grand prize. Make one season for teens and see if that hits. If it connects, consider moving the show to Noggin or some other teen channel.

If The Mole was on: The Discovery Channel
Sponsors: FedEx
Final Product: There’s something about Discovery Channel’s Lineup that The Mole may fit in. Put a lot of assembly, endurance, and some animals in different missions. Contestants could possibly tie in some Dirty Jobs. I like the idea of sharks and squids too.

If The Mole was on: Bravo
Sponsors: A hair product.
Final Product: Attempt a connection between art history and espionage. Have more creative challenges, including brain teasers, mazes, and art challenges. The challenges wouldn’t be as physical, but more mental. Possibly channel Leonardo da Vinci. If it has to be degraded to relate to other Bravo reality shows, call the whole thing Top Mole and have people intentionally sabotage things to unknowing bystanders. People will win if they are the most crafty.

If The Mole was on: MTV

Sponsors: The US Army
Final Product: Call the thing Real World / Road Rules Challenge: The Mole and make one of the hundred contestants the mole. Add Alcohol. Hope for Drama. Make sure that there is a reunion show where everyone can scream at each other

If The Mole was on: VH1
Sponsors: Altell
Final Product: Make another washed-up celebrity version. Since it’s VH1, add something kind of music related; possibly Vanilla Ice. He’ll probably be eliminated first, but he may throw a chair. The only other option is to call the show I Love The Mole and have a dating show with a mole in it, maybe a sibling who knows the behind the scenes, but is acting like a contestant.

If The Mole was on: G4
Sponsors: Some video game at the moment.
Final Product: Possibly put part of the show in Japan, just so they could do some Ninja Warrior-esque challenges. Have a lot of high tech gadgetry for the contestants and have the contestants have online journals. With the online journals, the mole could plant “viruses” to wipe out some notes or the mole could hack into their personal accounts. I can see a lot of techy/geeky events happening. Put a few geeky people on with the rest of the normal reality TV show cast and make them do physical challenges.

If The Mole was on: Comedy Central
Sponsors: Burger King
Final Product: Make the challenges really silly. Any definition of silly is acceptable whether it is slap-stick or sarcasm. Keep the drama, but possibly make the audience know who the mole is from the beginning so that they can laugh at their antics as they sabotage the game. It will also be funnier when the contestants try to sabotage the game and you know they aren’t the mole. One other possibility is to make it just like “The Joe Schmo Show” where there are 11 moles and one contestant.

If The Mole was on: Lifetime
Sponsors: Kleenex
Final Product: Make an all female version of The Mole and hope that drama ensues past the missions. Possibly have one contestant with their period so that everyone else goes on the same cycle and watch the fireworks go off. Also, place them in Canada.

If The Mole was on: Spike
Sponsors: An American Car company
Final Product: Although this version would be co-ed, make sure that all the contestants are 35 or younger and semi-attractive. Add a lot of physically demanding tasks and anything involving explosions.

I doubt that the campaigning to save The Mole made a big dent on ABC. If this show really wants to survive, they should just move the show to another channel. If not this show will fade into reality television obscurity, next to Treasure Hunters and Pirate Master.

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About Michael Pascua