If Jerry Springer and Maury had a three-way with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the resulting bastard child would have been The Moment of Truth. Thanks to a lead-in from American Idol, the January 2008 premiere of Fox’s disturbing game show drew 23 million viewers. By the end of MOT’s 10-episode initial order, the audience had fallen by over 60%. With only 4 million viewers remaining halfway through the show’s 13-episode second order, Fox pulled it for good. As an inglorious basterd, The Moment of Truth earned the #9 spot on T10B’s ranking of Reality TV Busts.
As described in my previous post, NBA Commissioner David Stern implemented a draft lottery in 1985 as a way to remove the implicit incentive teams had to lose games intentionally in order to improve their draft status. Clearly, Stern was a genius because the accusations of teams tanking have been removed from the game. Actually, not only have the accusations increased over the years, but also the league’s handling of the lottery system has led to conspiracy theories that the process is rigged (e.g. the bent envelope resulting in Patrick Ewing going to the Knicks). Whether fair or not, the NBA has a shoddy reputation regarding the integrity of its draft process. Perhaps more accurately, replace the “odd” from shoddy in the previous sentence with the cousin from the Adams Family (i.e. replace “odd” with “itt”). Either way, the NBA Draft seems to create enough controversy year after year for it to be considered a bust in its own right.
Supernova (2000) seemingly had the ingredients to become a hit movie. First, it starred the incredibly talented James Spader and Angela Bassett. Second, it had state-of-the-art visual effects. Unfortunately, the film suffered because the studio failed to control the creative process. In particular, it endured numerous rewrites and leadership changes while stuck in production for eight years. Despite a budget of over $90 million, it earned less than $15 million at the box office. As a horrendously produced film with a financial loss of over $80 million, Supernova earned the distinction of #7 Box Office Bust.