Fox Will Put “Truth” to the Test – But Will Viewers?

This January, Fox will be trudging out Moment of Truth, a new show that pits mankind versus the most diabolical of machines: lie detectors.

Lie detectors, the unveiling of personal secrets, absolute truth – what could possibly go wrong?

Fox, ever the innovators, ordered the pilot for Moment of Truth in August, which is based on the successful (and recently canceled) Columbian series, Nothing But the Truth. As the Columbian rendition has proven, lie detector shows can get a bit messy when certain questions are asked.

Fox has taken precautions since that debacle, and will stick to questions about a contestant’s personal history, not legal matters.

In this Americanized version of Truth, contestants must answer 21 questions (just like 50 Cent said!) without lying to collect a $500,000 grand prize. Each question asked will get increasingly more difficult to answer, making the final rounds a nail-biting experience for the contestant’s family members and friends, who are seated with the studio audience.

Sample questions include:

“Have you ever lied on a job application?” (lame)

“Do you really care about starving children in Africa?” (lame)

“Have you ever cheated on your spouse?” (bingo!)

The vast majority of scientists state that Polygraph testing has no scientific basis – but when did people listen to foolish scientists? Like most Americans I look to Maury for the truth; Fox hopes that you do too.

When Moment of Truth premiers on January 23 (immediately after American Idol) it’s expected to bring in a sizable amount of viewers. Due to its controversial nature, viewers are more likely to be rooting for contestants to have a breakdown rather than win the $500,000. And let’s be honest here: what is more entertaining than a contestant getting lambasted on live television after admitting to having sex with their cousin?

Shock TV is still going strong, with no plans on derailing in the near future. Moment of Truth will no doubt be successful, but when will shows with family values make their way back to the tube? Never, I assume. There’s no turning back at this point.

Oh, forget it – watching an 18-car pileup of lies and deceit from the safety of your living room has its merits. No lie there.

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