Pirates and Politicians: Survivor creator Burnett announces new reality shows
Mark Burnett, who’s behind the hit show Survivor, has two new reality shows coming up. Pirate Master, yet another “outwit for money” series, premieres May 31, and will hop into Survivor’s time slot on Thursday nights on CBS.

Independent, a “groundbreaking political reality show” produced in partnership with popular social networking site MySpace, will launch in early 2008.

Pirate Master seems to be very much cast in the Survivor mold; sixteen contestants (er, “modern-day pirates”) will spend a month living on a pirate ship in the Caribbean, searching for hidden treasure and competing for “the largest booty,” under the reign of one contestant, the captain, who gets to assign chores. (Arrr, I foresee mutiny!)
Every week there’ll be adventures and treasure hunts, as well as “Pirate’s Court,” billed on the website as “a lively gathering of public speaking and judgment” which will end in one of the pirates being “cut loose” each week. While there’ll be gold prizes all along the way, one pirate will go home with $500,000. Australian actor Cameron Daddo will play the Jeff Probst role as host.

Independent is being billed as an “interactive television series,” with the unique idea that they can “find the nation's next great politician through an online, offline, on-air multimedia campaign.” Competitors will interact with the public on the show and online during the course of the show. An actual political candidate will be chosen in the end, and awarded a million dollars, which they cannot keep but must either use for a campaign or donate to a political cause.

Survivor creator Mark Burnett believes this may “reshape the face of American politics.”

"Through this new network television series and the partnership of MySpace, we're going to discover in a big way, what America really thinks, and bring to light the issues that are closest to those who now finally have a chance to be heard," said Burnett.

The competitors, er, candidates, will audition by submitting a MySpace Video. MySpace is a unit of Fox Interactive Media Inc.

-Mel Harris, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: CBS, Business Wire
Photo courtesy of CBS