In The Show, a thriller directed by Giancarlo Esposito (of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fame), Josh Duhamel plays Adam Rogers, a reality show host who finds himself in an unusual situation.
Rogers is a Chris Harrison-like figure who hosts a dating show that ends in an attempted murder, wherein the runner-up tries to shoot and kill the winner.
As a result of Rogers’ quick thinking, he is heralded as a “national hero” (here, James Franco plays an excitable morning show host who heaps praise on Rogers), and his network drums up a new, macabre idea for a reality show: What if there was a reality competition wherein people would kill themselves in front of a live studio audience?
“From a legal standpoint, neither the network nor the producers can be held liable,” one executive says during a boardroom meeting in the recently released trailer, exclusive to Entertainment Tonight. Adds another executive, played by X-Men alum Famke Janssen, “So theoretically, if we had a show on air where people were committing suicide, it wouldn’t be breaking the law.”
The Show is not the first movie to imagine a reality series in which contestants win prizes for killing themselves, or each other. The 2001 dark comedy Series 7: The Contenders, posited a hypothetical American reality show called The Contenders, in which six people picked at random would each be given a pistol and forced to hunt and kill each other for the cameras.
And in 1987 sci-fi film The Running Man, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jesse Ventura, Jim Brown and Richard Dawson played characters involved with a TV show called The Running Man, where convicted criminal
“runners” were tasked with escaping death at the hands of professional killers.
The film was set in the then-future of a dystopian United States, circa 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Show above. The Show arrives in theaters and is available on demand on Sept. 15.