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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this competition-oriented reality series is generally fine for family viewing, although the show is engineered to sell products directly to consumers through HSN. All of the inventors are women, and the products they've invented tend to target female consumers. There's also some mild language (think "booty") and the potential for some products to touch on mildly sexy topics.
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What's the story?
In HOMEMADE MILLIONAIRE, aspiring home-based businesswomen compete for a chance to sell their inventions to the American public via HSN, a 24-hour shopping network that also peddles wares on the Internet. Each week, host Kelly Ripa puts three new inventors in front of a focus group that gets to decide which two inventions will advance forward. After that, they each make presentations to a panel of judges, who ultimately decide whose invention has the most potential. Ripa also serves as the reality competition's executive producer, along with her husband, Mark Consuelos.
Is it any good?
Although reality contests about self-made inventors have come and gone, Homemade Millionaire is taking another stab at the familiar formula by making one curious modification: This show will focus solely on female inventors, presumably with a nod toward the increasingly popular trend of home-based businesses run by working moms. But will narrowing the competition's scope to such a specific audience appeal to anyone other than the women who aspire to be on the show someday? And, more importantly, are the bulk of these "inventions" really compelling enough to sell the idea that Homemade Millionaire is a must-see show? Edible baking cups are a good place to start. But, in the end, even Ripa's cheery on-air persona might not be enough to keep viewers interested in portion-control plates or self-sticking hot rollers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism and how partnering with HSN helps both the inventors and the home shopping network make money. Why is home shopping so popular? Are people more likely to buy something they see on TV or on the Internet than they would be if they were just out browsing at a store?
What does it really take to develop a new product that's never been on the market before? Does this show offer a realistic view of what it's like to try and convince investors that you've got a unique invention?
What's the best invention you've seen on the show so far? Would you buy it -- and do you think others would, too? What makes it attractive to you as a consumer?