Not since the Love Boat went off the air has a cruise ship had a regular spot in our TV Guide. But John Heald and his wonder-blog might just bring cruise vacations back to your airwaves -- 21st century style.
According to Heald's blog, two possible TV spots are in the works. The first is an episode of a USA Network reality show where a regular person gets to be a cruise director for a day. In his blog, John writes:
"On April 27th I fly to Los Angeles to film a segment for the USA channel. This will be part of their 'live your dream' programming where upon the channel helps people live their dream jobs……….some want to be Lion tamers or NASCAR Drivers or Heart Surgeons and some actually wanted to be …………Cruise Directors. Carnival agreed to help with this and I will be filming with this winner onboard the Carnival Paradise."
Stay tuned for details about when the show will air. If John is flying out on the 27th, we assume the filming will take place on the April 28 voyage of the Paradise (the ship is at sea on the 27th and we doubt they'll airlift Heald to the ship).
Even more exciting is the prospect of -- get this -- a John Heald sitcom! Last month, Heald met with a TV and film executive from California who is considering developing a sitcom based on the blog. While nothing is close to being finalized, the prospect of a Carnival TV show is huge for the cruise industry. Not only would John become even more of a celebrity, but Carnival would get a huge amount of free advertising and more people would be indoctrinated into the joys of vacations at sea.
However, questions still abound: Would the show focus on a particular Carnival ship (a la the Love Boat)? What larger-than-life actor could play John? But we guess the first question that needs to be answered is John's:
"Will they turn my little thingy into something big……………….Heidi has hoped that will happen for years."
Until more information comes to light, we ask you: How would you like to see your favorite ship immortalized on television? Tell us here.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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Carnival's John Heald: Next Reality TV Star?
April 3, 2008