Dr Mumbo

What’s more ‘heartwarming’ than a briefcase full of cash?

the day the cash cameThere’s nothing more heartwarming than someone giving you a whole heap of no-strings-attached cash and asking you to spend it.

At least that appears to be the thinking of two of our major free-to-air TV networks.

In their upfronts last year, Seven released details of a show called The Day The Cash Came, where a “life-changing briefcase of cash” appears on someone’s doorstep, and then follows “the heartwarming highs and crushing lows as these families’ lives are changed forever.”

Then this morning the Nine Network sent out details of its new show, The Briefcase. Here’s the blurb: 

“What would you do with one hundred thousand dollars? Every week two deserving Aussie families who are doing it tough will be in for the surprise of their lives. But given a golden chance to help themselves or will they rather help strangers in need? Is it better to give than to receive? More than $1 million will be given away in this heartwarming and thought-provoking new series.”

the briefcase US

Sound familiar? Apparently Nine commissioned the show at MIPCOM last April. It’s unclear how long Seven’s has been in the works.

Dr Mumbo also wonders whether Nine’s will fare better than the US version, which was described by Yahoo TV critic Ken Shipp as: “One of the more cynical and repulsive of new reality shows — and that’s saying something, I know — The Briefcase is all the more reprehensible for passing off its exploitation of people in beleaguered financial straits as uplifting, inspirational TV.”

Youch. It was cancelled in December.

Conversely The Day the Cash Came was framed as a “social experiment” by the BBC, giving a family the equivalent of the average annual wage and seeing what they did with it.

Maybe one of the shows could tie-in with the next series of Struggle Street to save costs?

ADVERTISEMENT

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing