You don't have to look very hard to find six degrees of soap-eration between Spike's new reality competition series, The Hiring Squad, and the world of daytime suds. Former Soap Opera Weekly journalist Jonathan Reiner (who also produced Soap Center and Starting Over) is the project's showrunner and executive producer.
The program's senior producer, Sarah Smith, also has soap cred. She got her start as Hogan Sheffer's writing assistant on As The World Turns before going to work for Maria Arena Bell at The Young and the Restless.
The Hiring Squad, which is being billed as a cross between The Apprentice and Undercover Boss, premieres Oct. 27 at 11/10c on Spike. Let's show it some love, suds fans! Watch a promo after the jump. READ MORE
With reality television becoming more and more popular, as production of scripted fare dries up, it's good these day to be a jack of all genres. That's exactly who Jonathan Reiner is. The veteran reality show producer (Starting Over, Big Brother), who got his start as an intern at Theater Week magazine, which led to him meeting the legendary Soap Opera Weekly editrix Mimi Torchin, and a career covering soaps, drops by Daytime Confidential to chat with Luke and Jamey about the differences and similarities between soaps and reality shows.
Reiner reflects on what it was like to work on daytime's first and only reality soap, Starting Over, co-created by the late Mary -Ellis Bunim, and offers a fresh perspective on why network television dramas seem to be struggling so much. He also ponders the question, why didn't Procter and Gamble seek out producers with reality television experience before embarking on their risky production model shift for the now-cancelled sudser Guiding Light? It's an interview you won't soon forget.
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