WASHINGTON - There is a cliché that has been part of D.C. banter for a number of years: "Politics is showbiz for ugly people."
Doron Ofir, the casting director behind a number of reality TV juggernauts, says he has never heard of it. If his new venture is to be successful, he hopes that adage doesn't ring true.
Ofir's casting agency is currently on a nationwide search for "strong-willed, well-informed, great looking outspoken participants in the American political system" to be part of a new reality show that will put different political personalities in direct confrontation with one another.
The man responsible for the "Jersey Shore" cast is looking for people between the ages of 21 to 35 to stump for their chance to dictate the national conversation on politics.
Ofir, an avid consumer of the talking head punditry, says the show could end up looking like something between C-Span for cool kids crossed with "Politically Incorrect" without a moderator.
"Nothing is more interesting at the moment to me than the current political climate that we are living in," Ofir says. "It's that strange concept when you never bring up politics or religion at the dinner table. I absolutely want to do that and I want it to be explosive."
Regardless of the subject matter, Ofir is searching for people that will fulfill the fundamental premise of reality television.
"There is an element of tension involved," he says. "You take a young Bill Maher and you take a young Ann Coulter, what really happens if they live together?"
Despite the jarring hypothetical picture Ofir paints, he says he is not casting for particular political stereotypes. Ofir's idea of the show (still in the development phases, the major network attached will have final say) will be seven or eight characters heavily involved in the government process, looking to make their voice part of both the political and pop culture landscape.
"I really think that politics has crossed into this real pop culture showbiz phenomenon," Ofir says.
Here's to "GTL" becoming "government, taxes, lobbying."
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)