No, there isn't really a reality show called "The Dillionaire" about a pickle mogul.
But New York City's PBS station, WNET Thirteen, is posting subway ads for "The Dillionaire," "Knitting Wars," and "Bayou Eskimos," among other fake shows, to point out the state of television and offer itself as an alternative as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The shows have perfect reality taglines. "Clean up on every aisle," says the one for "Bad Bad Bag Boys." "It's sew on," says the one for "Knitting Wars." But next to the posters for the fake shows is a message from Thirteen: "The fact you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV. Support quality programming. Join as at Thirteen.org."
"It’s pretty scary when you look out there and see what’s on television these days,” said Jeff Anderson, executive creative director at CHI & Partners NY, the ad agency behind the campaign, said in a release. “If New Yorkers want an inspiring and educational option, they need to get behind a network that we sometimes take for granted.”
The ads are wonderfully detailed, even noting that high-minded-sounding stations like Discovery, National Geographic and TLC (formerly The Learning Channel) are now rolling in the muck. "The Dillionaire" airs on the made-up Culture Network. "Bad Bad Bag Boys" air on The Know Channel.
Hey, PBS, we have an idea: What about a fake show about a family that's made its fortune selling duck calls? Wouldn't that be — what's that?
Really? Never mind.
Check out the last shows you ever thought you would see PBS promoting: