Hooked on Channel 10
Keen to capitalise on the runaway success of Big Brother, and following the huge success of Boot Camp and Survivor in all its flavours, Channel 10 revealed details of their next big show guaranteed to be a ratings success.
A Channel 10 spokesperson today confirmed that after secret negotiations, the network was going to take over Australia's only legalised heroin injecting room.
It was revealed the Network had followed the launch of the injecting room in Kings Cross with a great deal of excitement
"From the moment the injecting room opened in a frenetic blase of paparazzi flashlights we knew were onto a winner," said the spokesperson. "These people are naturals for television and unconcerned about cameras or publicity."
Channel 10 is spending a fortune building a set at Fox Studios Backlot in Sydney's Centennial Park. This specially designed set will give contestants a fighting chance by keeping out pimps, pushers and dealers. However, the set has been designed in such a way that guided tours will be possible. Fox Studios expect it to be a more popular fix than Titanic: The Experience and is expecting to recoup some of the money going down the drain.
Channel 10, reluctant to reveal too many design details admitted the set would be similar in design to the Big Brother house. There will be rows of cubicles in a central area, all with good lighting, cameras, 2-way mirrors, and injecting equipment. A glass-enclosed chill-out room has also been provided allowing all visitors to Fox Studios a chance to see the contestants.
Contestants will only be allowed to take drugs when in a cubicle and under strict supervision. They will be closely monitored with 24-hour TV surveillance cameras at all times to ensure they are not secretly hiding drugs on their person. The set will also contain a small hospital room equipped to revive anyone who overdoses. An ambulance as well as a Channel 10 news helicopter will be on standby to rush any emergency contestants to hospital.
Anyone who overdoses will automatically be disqualified from the program and denied further access to the facilities. "We are trying to encourage positive debate and a responsible attitude towards drugs," said a spokesperson for the show, "We feel this will allow Australians to come to terms with drugs and see first hand that addicts are no more boring than anyone else on television."
The show will not be as rigid as Big Brother. Contestants will be allowed to come and go as they please as they are filmed talking about their experiences and addictions.
"One of the problems we had with Big Brother was the lack of sex," said a Channel 10 spokesperson. "Most of the contestants on Hooked will have worked as prostitutes, so viewers will not be disappointed."
Like Big Brother, the program will screen nightly, followed by an unedited version later. Web junkies will be able to follow the contestants 24 hours a day by logging onto the web site during work hours. No addicts will be evicted from the house. Viewers will still be able to vote, by phone or via the web site, on which contestant should be allowed access to the limited number of taxpayer-funded detox programs and who would be better off overdosing.
The contestant who manages to stay drug free the longest will receive $500,000, a box of condoms and a holiday in Colombia.
Kings Cross shopkeepers are delighted with the plan. "We have never wanted the shooting gallery here in the first place - it just lowers the tone of the neighborhood"
The Opposition branded the plan a disgrace. "Drugs will be freely available to all contestants during the duration of the show. This sends the wrong message to young people. It tells them it is ok to do drugs and have sex as long as it is on television," said a spokesperson for Kerry Chikarovski. "This is taking the user-pays mentality of the Labor Party to a ridiculous extreme."
South Sydney Council is up in arms, saying it will only encourage riff-raff to squat on Council parkland that should be for the benefit of all and not just homeless drug addicts.