On Tuesday the finale of the first season of America’s Greatest Makers will air on TBS. The five finalist teams will pitch their products to the judges, and the winning team will receive $1 million. Guest judges for the finale are Mike Rowe (host of Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It) and TNT basketball analyst Kenny Smith. Smith was part of the panel judging initial pitches, but the finalists have had several weeks to refine their products and pass a second round of judging before facing Smith again.
While there has been a lot of video and other information on the program’s website, the television show has not been as prominent. There has been some cross-promotion, including a guest appearance by one of the team on the Conan program, but the network has not yet announced that the show is coming back. The ratings have been up and down, spiking with the first episode of the second round of competition and declining slightly since then.
Speaking just about the television program, I found the format a bit awkward, shifting between hour-long and half-hour segments. I also found it somewhat light on describing the underlying Intel technology that was part of the competition. Perhaps there was a concern about not making the product placement so obvious, but I think that sacrificed the opportunity to better explain the guts of these products.
The producers of the program are casting for a second season, and Intel has supported maker competitions before, so I think it possible that someone could apply and be accepted. I just wouldn’t count on being part of a reality show.