Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mark Burnett’s CliffsNotes

We’ve all been there before. You had weeks to read the novel for English class but you didn’t. Now it’s the night before the big test and there’s no way you’ll get through the whole book. In some cases you could rent the movie… but we think it’s pretty safe to say that Demi Moore’s version of The Scarlet Letter might not score you a perfect 100% on the exam.

Leave it to reality TV genius Mark Burnett to come to the rescue. The mastermind behind Survivor has come up with a way for lazy kids to outwit their teachers. The notion is simple — Burnett will produce webisodes of classic CliffsNotes Literature Guides. Now no self-respecting kid will ever have to read a piece of literature again. Take that Aeschylus and George Orwell.

Burnett has reportedly been sitting on the CliffsNotes content since 2001. Now he’s teaming up with AOL, publisher Wiley & Sons and Coalition Films to create five-minute comedic versions of classic novels from William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens to Mark Twain. True to the original written form, the video CliffsNotes will include plotlines, story analysis, interpretation of themes and literary criticism.

But we have to wonder who Burnett will have voted off the island in Lord of the Flies first.

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