Fox Plans to Con Prince Harry-Crazed American Girls

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Fox wants to make some women look stupid by fooling them into thinking they might have a shot at Prince Harry.

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports that the network is working on a reality series called I Wanna Marry "Harry" in which 12 American girls will be taken to an English country house. They will think they are attempting to capture the affections of Prince Harry, but really it will just be some lookalike named Matthew Hicks, who will in turn be trying to make sure the women don't realize they look like total fools. Harry has been linked to Cressida Bonas for a while now. Will these women ask about her? Will they care? 

I Wanna Marry "Harry" seems like a return to an earlier, nastier era in reality TV. Lest you forget that a mere 11 years ago, Fox aired Joe Millionaire, which operated on the same basic premise, except the "Joe" in question wasn't supposed to be a royal, just rich. 

Network reality TV has softened since the early aughts. Horrible auditions on American Idol don't make as much news as they did in the days of William Hung,  and in fact they've been largely phased out of the broadcast. Shows like The Voice are about finding and developing pure talent. Things have come a long way from 2004, when The WB aired Superstar USA, a fake American Idol aimed purely at picking the worst singers and making them look like idiots. 

I Wanna Marry "Harry" operates on a totally sexist concept: that women will do anything to think they are marrying a prince and are ill-educated enough to not see that they are dealing with a total fake. It also gives reality competition TV a bad name again. But let's not kid ourselves: everyone will be talking about this. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.