Instead of a once-a-year special that struggles to interest viewers, McMaster has pitched the idea of Miss America as a show aired over several nights, with viewers getting to know the contestants as they do on ''American Idol'' and other reality shows.
Whatever it is, Miss America's next TV outlet will likely scotch the saccharine speeches about world peace in favor of televised backbiting among the women vying for the crown.
''I don't think there's an audience for squeaky clean,'' said Shari Anne Brill, director of programming for ad-buying firm Carat. ''It has to be modernized in the way we've all been fed such reality. You need to see the tears, the drama, the makeup, the mascara, the crisis of finding out you have a zit.''
June 19, 2005
If you had told me back in 1970 that "Miss America" would stay on TV until 2004, I'd have been surprised. It was already terribly outmoded. Now, they're trying to update it and get it started again. But what does it mean to modernize, 2005 style?