MTV's naughty nurse reality show, "Scrubbing In," has decided to go more Florence Nightingale in its depiction of a team that includes Pittsburgh-based traveling RNs.
After a number of professional groups complained and a petition on www.change.org garnered almost 31,000 signatures, the program is about to undergo some cosmetic surgery.
Advocacy group The Truth About Nurses reports to Variety that it had a sit-down with MTV's Jason Rzepka, senior vice president of brand communications and public affairs. Calling Mr. Rzepka "a really good listener" in a press release, the group stated, "He said that he and others at MTV did not know much about the nursing stereotypes or that they undermined nursing such as they lead to a dearth of funding for nursing practice, education, research and residencies."
'Voice' contestant James Wolpert still alive and well
Former CMU student James Wolpert performs Harry Nilsson's "Without You" on NBC's "The Voice." (Video courtesy of NBC; 11/23/2013)
That seems unlikely, but the good news for nursing is that after turning down the group's initial request to cancel or put the show on hiatus, MTV apparently agreed to move the show from 10 p.m. Thursdays to midnight -- which began last week -- and to re-edit some episodes to remove some of the more racy, drunken behavior.
Which is not to say there still won't be depictions of after-shift drinking and drama-infused cookouts. But according to the Variety report, MTV will also promote a Web video, "A Day in the Life of a Nurse," that one presumes is focused on work, not play. The network also suggested it might establish a blog about what it takes to become a nurse.
Elsewhere on reality TV ...
* On "The Voice," (NBC, Mondays and Tuesdays), the show's favorite geek, former Carnegie Mellon student James Wolpert, advanced with another versatile performance. Singing Harry Nilsson's "Without You," he got a little pitchy on some big notes but impressed nonetheless.
He certainly hasn't been a one-note pony. Song choices have included tunes by Joni Mitchell, Imagine Dragons and Boston.
Gone are Austin Jenckes and Kat Robichaud. The show's saved-by-Twitter feature this season has been rankling some West Coast viewers. At the end of each "Voice" elimination, one singer can be saved by Twitter vote within a five-minute window.
Of course, this works only for those watching it live, in the East. Various "Voice" recap sites are full of complaints that the process restricts half of its fans from accessing the Twitter vote.
By comparison, complaints during the 2003 season finale of "American Idol" seem downright quaint. Viewers suggested a conspiracy theory when the telephone lines were jammed as they tried choose between Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken.
* Judge Rachelle Rak showed 'em how it's done by performing on the finale of "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" (Lifetime, Tuesdays), and the Pittsburgh native even threw in a slick side aerial.
The finalists endured more nasty comments from mothers not their own before it was all over, and the ultimate "Ultimate" champion for season two was McKaylee True, 13, of Lincoln, Neb.
* Season six of Syfy's excellent special effects makeup competition, "Face Off," returns in its usual Tuesday night slot Jan. 14. This time around, there's a "Beauty and the Beast"-inspired spotlight challenge as well as the intrigue of bringing to life a Roald Dahl character previously unseen on screen.
As usual, the Tom Savini Special Effects Make-Up program at the Douglas Education Center in Monessen is well represented. Four grads are among the contestants: Daran Holt, 40, of Kansas City, Mo.; Tyler Green, 25, of Litchfield, Conn.; Tanner White, 26, of San Diego; and Tess Laeh, 24, of Littleton, Colo.
* Great American Country's third season of "Farm Kings" returns Dec. 19, featuring the daily life of Butler County's King family. The family is scheduled to participate in the My Macy's Holiday Parade Nov. 30; if temperatures are seasonal, it's likely the guys will keep their shirts on.