Best Must-See Local TV (2003)
For years, the Aurora Sentinel has published photos of men convicted of soliciting ladies, and gents, of the night. But this past July, Denver and its television station, Channel 8, upped the ante on anti-prostitution efforts with the launch of Johns TV, a televised marathon of mug shots that aired six nights a week; "As Seen on Johns TV," a Web version of the program, could also be accessed at www.denvergov.org/johnstv/. The show quickly became a huge success, talked about nationally and aped by Detroit -- but with its success came the seeds of its own destruction: Johns TV had to go on winter hiatus because it was running out of johns. (Some reports credit the show with a 40 percent decrease in soliciting in Denver.) Whatever its social value, Johns TV has opened up a whole new world of entertainment in local cable access, without the hassle of confusing plot lines, scripted dialogue -- or actors going on a Tony Soprano-like strike for more pay. We got your reality TV right here.