Stop Writing When You Hear the Buzzer

When Art Meets Capitalism 2: An Italian game show dangles a book deal to authors capable of composing on demand in front of a live studio audience.

During the shooting of an episode last month, the expert panel — the novelists Andrea De Carlo, Giancarlo De Cataldo and Taiye Selasi — sat behind a desk while makeup artists darted about blotting foreheads and touching up lipstick. Facing the judges, four contestants perched behind their keyboards, with every typed word projected on screens for all to see, as a timer above their heads counted down and cameras swooped in for close-ups.

Tom Rachman, ‘Masterpiece,’ an Italian Reality Show for Writers. (It’s worth noting that Rachman himself is a fiction writer, best known for his wonderful novel-in-stories, The Imperfectionists.)