I was going to wait on this one, but after being quoted by JoAnn Schneider Farris (I think twice) on this, I have to state my rather virulent opinion.
I love reality TV. I love Hoarders, Intervention, Dance Moms, Obsessed, and a few others. You know why? Because I can watch these shows and think, "Wow, I'm not doing so bad. In fact, I'm the picture of sanity compared to these nuts!" And I'm not the only one who thinks that way. In fact, Tuesdays at the office are a round table of "Holy crow, did you see that kid? What a mess!"
This show specifically asked for "involved mothers" and "coaches with strong personalities." In other words, they're looking for Abby Lee on Ice.
There's a deep mythology surrounding competitive kids and their parents; that we're all obsessed, maniacal weirdos who will do anything, spend anything, and dispose of anyone who stands in the way of our kid's success. This show, "Kids on Ice," isn't going to dispel that mythology. It's going to entrench it. It's not going to show normal folks in secondhand Reidells, with the once a week private lessons and takes third place gracefully at the neighborhood ISI comp. Oh no. It's going to show the moms and kids and coaches spending hours upon hours upon hours at the rink, stitching rhinestones, doing marathon skate fittings, fretting over every minor detail and if anyone thought that I swear too much, then they haven't heard the censors knock out most of the screaming matches between Abby Lee and her moms. If people think a Coach with a "strong personality" won't give the audience, people like me looking for a reassurance of their sanity, a repeat performance, they're dreaming.
This show won't encourage kids to skate. It's going to scare off potential skating families who will believe that all other skating people are hyper-competitive, that they have to spend a fortune to be involved to any degree, and it will take an incredible time commitment if they do it at all. Like it or not, that's the common perception of Figure Skating. There are people right now who believe Stitch is up at 5:30 every morning to practice. (Cue laugh track.)
Worse, what about the kids? I always do feel kinda bad about mocking Dance Moms, because those girls really do give it their all. It's not their fault that they're tied up with Abby Lee, who sorts them into a "pyramid" a cording to their arbitrary value each week. I do feel there is a good deal of exploitation going on with that show.
So. Will we be auditoning for Kids on Ice? Heck no. Will I watch it? Absolutely.
But here's a question no one has answered for me; How does USFS feel about this? Would a truly "serious" skater need to get their permission to do it, and would USFSA say yes? That might be the only safety net for such a show, as USFSA seems terribly image conscious. In that case, we'd have the polar opposite problem: folks who only get the rose colored glasses view without the tough realities.
I honestly don't think any good can come of a skating reality show. Sorry.