Archive for Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Next up: Al Sharpton reality show

June 30, 2004

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— Al Sharpton, who failed in his last bid for a new job -- U.S. president -- now has a job on a reality TV show that guides people on career makeovers.

Spike TV, the Viacom cable channel that targets a young male audience, said Sharpton will host "I Hate My Job," premiering in the fall.

"I like the concept of trying to have people discover their purpose in life, and not have the world define them or settle for less than who they want to be just to pay their bills," Sharpton said Tuesday.

The eight male contestants in the show will quit their jobs and work with two "life counselors," Sharpton and California psychologist Stephanie Raye, who will give them advice and weekly assignments. A panel will decide which contestants will continue each week.

"Reverend Sharpton came from a modest upbringing and became a major political force and presidential candidate," said Kevin Kay, Spike's executive vice president for programming. "He's lived the American dream so he's the perfect person for our eight contestants to learn from."

"I'm the working man's (Donald) Trump," Sharpton said. "He brings people into the penthouse. We bring them into the house."

Since his campaign ended, Sharpton has been aggressively seeking out media jobs and has signed a deal with CNBC as a commentator, and possibly develop a talk show.

An ordained Pentecostal minister, Sharpton isn't abandoning politics, however, and scoffed at the idea that being the featured player in a reality show is somewhat undignified for a once and perhaps future candidate.

His campaign for president attracted more attention after he was host of "Saturday Night Live."

"A lot of politicians don't do it because they can't do it," he said. "I can do it."

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