Pittsburgh is for schmos?
It's not an ideal chamber of commerce slogan but for the third time producers of Spike TV's "The Joe Schmo Show" (10 p.m. Jan. 8) have tapped an unwitting Pittsburgher to be the show's star.
Chase Rogan, 28, of Lawrenceville is the latest "Schmo."
On "The Joe Schmo Show" one person -- Mr. Rogan this time -- thinks he is competing on an outlandish reality show. But the reality show is a fake, and all the other contestants are actors working from an outline. In this iteration, Mr. Rogan believes he's competing on "The Full Bounty," which seeks to find America's next star bounty hunter a la Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Actor Lorenzo Lamas appears as a version of himself, and Ralph Garman, who played the host in the first two seasons of "The Joe Schmo Show," is back again, this time as bail bonds business owner Jake Montrose, who also hosts "The Full Bounty."
Other over-the-top characters include ex-con Chico (Lombardo Boyar), overachiever Allison (Nikki McKenzie) and the cast jerk, Randy (Michael Weaver, who starred opposite 1998 Carnegie Mellon University grad David Hornsby on short-lived UPN sitcom "The Mullets." Mr. Hornsby played the jerk role in the first "Joe Schmo Show").
Mr. Rogan is a married agronomist with his own local business, PureTurf Consulting, which, according to its website, offers "proactive turf solutions" for clients that include golf courses. A native of Saegertown, north of Meadville, Mr. Rogan attended Penn State for undergrad (class of 2007) and graduate school, ultimately earning a master's degree in agronomy in 2011.
Reached at his PureTurf office last week, Mr. Rogan had no comment and Spike TV declined to make Mr. Rogan available for an interview. An announcement Spike TV will issue today [12-10] heralds Mr. Rogan as "the true hero of the show ... who demonstrates a keen sense of integrity and humanity, even under duress from the absurd predicaments he finds himself in."
"The Joe Schmo Show" first premiered in September 2003 and starred Mt. Lebanon native Matt Kennedy Gould, who thought he was competing in a reality show called "Lap of Luxury." The second, less successful edition, 2004's "Joe Schmo 2," featured Upper St. Clair native Amanda Naughton in a season that parodied dating shows like "The Bachelor."
TV writer Rob Owen: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2582. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook. First Published December 10, 2012 5:00 AM