Conor Knighton on "celeb-reality TV"

(CBS News) There's a TV programming trend that really annoys our contributor Conor Knighton:


It's no secret why executives initially fell in love with reality television.

For hardly any money, it was possible to find a bunch of regular people who would do crazy stuff on TV because they were desperate for attention.

But eventually, savvy execs realized, "Wait a second: There are a bunch of FAMOUS people who will do crazy stuff on TV because they are desperate for attention!"

On NBC's "All Star Celebrity Apprentice," the lady from "Taxi" (Marilu Henner) faces off against our new ambassador to North Korea (Denis Rodman).

"These celebrities aren't just stars. They're ALL-STARS!"

"Dancing With the Stars" is now in its SIXTEENTH season. "Splash" (a.k.a. "Diving With the Stars") came only two months after Fox's celebrity diving special, "Stars in Danger: The High Dive."

The most random of activities have been televised featuring the most random of celebrities. We've had "Skating With the Stars," "Skating With Celebrities," "Celebrity Motor Homes," "Celebrity Fit Club," "Celebrity Poker Showdown," "Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling," "Celebrity Closet Confidential," "Famous Food," "Celebrity Rehab," "Celebrity Mole," "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" . . . .

A few celebrities have turned these shows into close to a full-time job. Baldwin brothers and Playboy playmates pop up with alarming frequency, but none seems as game to exploit their former notoriety as Gary Busey.

Busey has been on "Celebrity Wife Swap," "Celebrity Apprentice," "Celebrity Close Calls," "Celebrity Rehab," "Celebrity Paranormal Project," and "Celebrity Fit Club."

Reality appearances can be a big career boost. And while the truly A-List tend to shy away, Hollywood is fickle. As the promo for the celebrity diving show "Splash" promises, "The stars WILL fall."

When they do, there will be dozens of reality shows waiting and willing to help them extend their 15 minutes even further.

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