Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank) is producing the next season of HGTV’s Design Star. I imagine you might have overheard something like this in a conference room recently:

MARK BURNETT: You’ve been coddling these people in previous seasons.  What you need is real human drama!  You need more tears!  More fears!  Don’t just give them a pile of money and send ‘em to Sears.  Make ‘em earn their shopping dollahs.  How they earn it is up to them (wink, wink).

HGTV EXEC: Err, you’re not suggesting these people…

MB: What, turn pro?  Gettin’ cold feet on me now, are ya?  Thought you were ready to run with the big boys.  Where’s all the talk about bringin’ some edge to the network?  Turnin’ pansy on me after I sign, eh?  Well…I have an “out” clause, right?  Maybe you can just get that other production company to do another season.

HGTV: No!  No, Mark…listen, we’re all onboard with the edgy thing.  In fact, we’ve already had one porn star on the show–I just don’t think we’re ready to tap that concept again, no pun intended!  But hey–we did sign that guy with the tattoos from last season, so no one can say we aren’t open-minded here at HGTV.   Uhh, maybe you can share the other ideas you have for the show.

MB: Alright, this one’s really crackin’.  We literally eliminate the losers.

HGTV: Wha…?

MB: Yeah, mate!  Up the stakes!  If you design a crap room this season, you’re not just goin’ home—you’re goin’ home to Jesus! Then you introduce “a new protein” on Food Network and you’ve got real corporate synergy!  Put it on Iron Chef—Americans don’t know what half the ingredients are on that show anyway.

HGTV: Wh-wh-what’s the new protein, Mark?

MB: Don’t worry about it—we’ll take care of it.  We do it on Survivor all the time.

HGTV: Oka-a-a-a-a-ay, let’s move on.  What’s next?

MB: We cast Omarosa.  She’ll do anything, and now that she’s got a great new rack, we’ll be able to boost ratings with straight blokes.

HGTV: But she’s not a real designer, is she?

MB: Listen, mate.  Half the casts from previous seasons of Design Star were bollocks.  Blimey, you had one daft lass who didn’t know how to operate a bloody ladder, so don’t go half mad thinkin’ it’s rocket science.  Did I mention Omarosa’s new knockers?

HGTV: Yeah, I think you mentioned that.  What else have you got for us, Mark?

MB: My angel of a wife.  Think she’d make a great new host for the show.

HGTV: Roma Downey Jr.?

MB: It’s Downey, full-stop.  Just Roma Downey, no “Jr.”

HGTV: But what about Clive Pearse?  Everyone just loves Clive.

MB: Tell ‘im to bugger off—hasn’t he another show already?

Cricket, cricket.