In a special session concluded at midnight on Wednesday morning, the Illinois house and senate unanimously passed a bill forcing the next governor of Illinois to star in his/her own 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year reality show.
The reality show will play on WGN, to the glee of the Tribune Company, which declared bankruptcy the day before Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges.
“That *&%$ governor really saved our asses,” said Tribune owner Sam Zell.
The State and Zell have hired Mark Burnett to be creator and producer of the channel’s programming.
“The hope is that if the Governor of Illinois is on television all of the time, he/she will be less likely to accept bribes and engage in corruption,” said Sara Feigenholtz, 12th District State Representative.
The bill was endorsed by the FBI.
“We can’t afford to investigate and prosecute another Illinois governor,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. “Chicago has gang problems, we still haven’t found Bin Laden, it would simply be less expensive to produce a reality show where the public could watch the governor’s every move.”
Burnett is hoping that the next person elected will be single, attractive and fit so that they can film a “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” series while the governor is in office.
“Husband and wife stuff is boring,” Burnett said. “How amazing would it be to see the governor making out while on a boat on Lake Michigan and then making out with someone else the next day at the Lincoln Memorial Museum in Springfield?”
In the reality television tradition, Burnett said, the next governor will face a myriad of challenges besides balancing the budget, getting funding for public transit, and improving performance in Illinois public schools.
Proposed episodes include having the governor spend time in jail with other convicted Illinois politicians for an “It Could Happen To Me” series. The governor would play a game show to pick, “Who was wrongly put on Death Row?” Also in the works is the governor attending a semester at the University of Illinois and rushing a sorority or house entitled: "I'm cool enough to be Governor but am I cool enough to go Greek?" During the sweeps periods look for, “Torture or Talking?” and “Bribe or Banter?”
There is even hope of training the governor in curling to represent the U.S.A in the 2016 Olympics being vied for by Chicago. Others are hoping the next governor will train for double dutch jump rope, which Chicagoans are trying to make a sport in the 2016 Olympics.
The bill initially faced some opposition when one representative asked, “What about when the governor poops or is naked and stuff?”
However, once an amendment was added that all unfamily friendly material would be aired only on premium channels (with subscription proceeds going to the Chicago Transit Authority), the bill was passed.
When asked if he thought anyone would run for governor under these conditions, President Elect Barack Obama said that he he thought they would. “If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all.”
And that price will be aired on Channel 9 beginning in 2010 or sooner if Blagojevich resigns or is jailed first. Blagojevich is in talks for a reality show of his own called: “Blagojevich Behind Bars.”