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This looks fun. Television Without Pity, now under Bravo’s wing, is launching TV Bigshot, an online game modeled after those fantasy baseball leagues I’ve mocked guys for obsessing over. From a news release posted at Futon Critic:

The game will allow players to create, name and program their own fantasy television networks using both new fall shows and returning series from the five broadcast networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and CW). Anyone can play and it’s free.

Starting with a budget of $300 million virtual dollars, each player must purchase shows for their daily primetime lineup. The user-created networks will earn points based on the success of their chosen rosters and will compete against each other for the top spot. At the end of the 2007-08 season, the player whose network has accumulated the most points based on actual ratings for the programs, ratings growth, and “buzz” measured by press coverage and awards garnered will win the $100,000 grand prize. …

Points are lost when a show declines in ratings, or worse, gets cancelled. Players have the power to call the shots, making executive decisions to sell shows in order to purchase others.

I can’t get on board with fantasy baseball, but fantasy TV network? Sign me up. It doesn’t look like you can get started right away – they take your name and e-mail and say thank you very much for now – but I’m so there when it gets going.

I’ll be dismal at it, I’m sure, because I’ll go with what I want to watch rather than what I think the majority will want to watch, but what a great way for all of us who complain about networks’ idiotic decisions to see if we could do any better. In my case, I fully expect the answer to be: nope.