Played by Fame



Celebs' pranks on fans aren't too mean; still some iffiness.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Fans get "played" by their favorite celebs. There's a good deal of lying and scheming to get the pranks to work, but the show isn't intended to be mean spirited. The host claims that the show is about acting "retarded." The cast is primarily African American; occasional secondary characters are Caucasian. Subtle references are occasionally made about differences in race.


Frustrated fans occasionally make references to hurting someone. One fan states that he wanted to "cut a person out."


Some sexual innuendo. Sexy dancing is occasionally shown. One episode features partially dressed gay men at a party (but no nudity is shown).


Audible language includes words like "ass," "damn," and "pissed." Stronger choices -- like "f--k" and "s--t" -- are bleeped.


The series highlights a variety of African-American celebrities, ranging from rap singer Ludacris to actresses like Wendy Raquel Robinson.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Visible drinking (champagne, mixed drinks). Occasional mild references to people being high.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this practical joke show -- which features celebrities playing pranks on unsuspecting fans -- isn't particularly mean spirited, there's still plenty of scheming and behind-the-scenes laughter at the fans' expense. You an also expect some sexual innuendo, drinking (wine, champagne), mild drug references, and lots of strong language (plenty is audible, but words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped).

What's the story?

In PLAYED BY FAME, unsuspecting fans are "pranked" by their favorite celebrities. Hosted by Al Shearer, the show invites stars like The Game's Wendy Raquel Robinson, former America's Next Top Model contestant Toccara, and rap artist Ludacris to allow a fan to spend an entire day with them. But instead of the dream experience the devoted fan was hoping for, the celebs lead their unwary admirers into a series of situations that have been specifically set up to give the fan nightmares. From jumping over brooms to train dogs to fending off obvious advances from the celebrity's supposed "friends," each fan tries to enjoy their time while simultaneously attempting to cope with the weirdness. And at the end of the day, just when it doesn't seem like things can get any stranger, the truth is revealed.

Is it any good?


Despite the behind-the-scenes laughter from those in on the day's pranks, Played by Fame doesn't come across as particularly mean spirited. In fact, while much of the show's humor comes from the unsuspecting fans' reactions, plenty of laughs also come from the performances of the various celebrities -- who must find ways to keep the pretense going all day.

But not all of the show's funny moments are appropriate for young viewers. Some of the jokes rely on strong sexual innuendo, while others incorporate drinking and drug references to make them believable. Meanwhile, both the celebrities and their fans use lots of strong language. But teens mature enough to handle the content who like prank shows will probably enjoy it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why celebrities would choose to play jokes on their fans. Do you think it's a good idea for them to toy with their admirers? What risks are involved? Does this show help or hurt the celebrities' image? Families can also discuss the difference between playing a practical joke on someone and just being mean. When does a prank go too far?

TV details

Cast:Al Shearer
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byshauntay123 March 5, 2010
love it
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 13, 16, 16, 22, and 22 year old Written bydrr March 1, 2009

We had a great time laughing!

I was able to watch the show with my kids, we laughed the whole show. We have seen some risky scenes, bur my kids were aged appropriate to handle it. PLAYED by FAME is full of good humor fun. Reminded me of Candid Camera behaving badly.


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