Ever thought you could do the job of a network executive, deciding which shows are put on the air and which ones end up in the waste bin?
Network jobs are hard to come by, but you can weigh in on the decision-making process by letting your opinions be known at the CBS Television City Research Center at MGM Grand.
You could find a gem, such as the pilot to a great new series -- or you could get a rip-off of a current show (we won't name names here). Half the fun, though, is the anticipation.
Participation is quite effortless. Viewers can pick up tickets in front of the research center. They then register at the counter in front of the center and line up about 10 minutes before their scheduled time.
Five minutes before the screening begins, viewers are led into one of four studios to watch the latest offerings from CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon and other Viacom networks (the television-holdings giant manages the research center).
Viewers then are instructed on how to use the test pads and monitors to register their opinions, and settle into the viewing process.
The show's length will determine the time of the testing process. A survey following the program lasts about 15 minutes, so viewers should expect an hour for an hour-long show (actually 45 minutes, as it is shown with no commercials). And since everything is done through touch screen, you won't have to worry about your hand cramping up from writing.
The attraction also offers testing for commercials, websites and technology-based products. Products tested in the past included Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Apple iPhone and Dell notebook computers.
Television City also offers souvenirs for its viewers. In its store you'll find merchandise like T-shirts, caps, pins, keychains and even computer software from popular shows like "Survivor," "C.S.I," "SpongeBob Squarepants" and more. Most items range from $18 to $20, but check the clearance rack for deals.
Visitors also have a chance to enter a drawing for a state-of-the-art home-theater system by joining Television City's entertainment panel, which will send items for review -- such as commercials and pilot programs -- to participants' homes. Drawings are held every three months.
Even if you get a dud, the process still is a fun one. Just think, you'll be able to tell studio executives exactly what you think about that moronic character. No matter what show you get, TV junkies will want to come back again and again.