Here's a novel idea. Since shows like The One and Master of Champions can't raise much of a pulse this summer, how about putting on something that actually matters.
Rather than filling out time periods with reruns–which are doing pretty poorly, generally, too–or shows about astounding medical maladies, instead whip up an hour town meeting, the kind ABC has been so good at in the past, about the fact that the world seems to be imploding. Or maybe a cogent analysis of our preemptive strike foreign policy.
I know, cable news is wall to wall explosions and implosions and the Daily Show is a seriously funny take on it all, which would seem impossible except Stewart manages to do it–but for the 20 million or so households that don't get cable, and even for those that do, some more network, prime time, attention to the world at war would be useful.
At times like these, programmers probably assume, the masses want to be diverted by watching race cars with knives attached cutting into cakes while their drivers do doughnuts, or skinny gymnasts playing William Tell with their tootsies. (I'm not picking on ABC, NBC had its balloon guy and doll dancer).
But the networks still have news departments that can do great journalism and need to do it, and do it more prominently in prime time, our tastes for inane diversion notwithstanding. Though given the ratings, maybe our tastes for the inane aren't as strong as network programers presume
Just a thought.
By John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
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