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Original Issue

Under Review

Nate Rubin is an "aspiring writer and animal lover" who as an
overweight kid was teased and tormented. His hero? Rocky Balboa.
"I always wanted to feel like a champ ... like I went the
distance," says Rubin, 26. Bob Hornsby, 40, is a "devoted family
man, talented graphic designer, but above all, a baseball
fanatic." His hero? Roy Hobbs. American Movie Classics jumps into
the reality-TV fray with Into Character, a new half-hour series
in which participants train for two weeks for a chance to live
out their movie fantasies. (The Rocky episode will air Sunday at
11:30 a.m., and The Natural airs next month.) In the first
episode, Rubin--slimmer and single (this being reality TV, AMC
set him up with three bachelorettes, all of whom share the name
of Rocky's wife, Adrian)--trains with an ex-champ, drinks a raw
egg concoction and runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum
of Art. On Day 14 he enters the ring at the legendary Blue
Horizon gym. Yes, it's formulaic, but at least nobody's clawing
his or her way to the top by any means necessary.

--Nancy Ramsey