Show updates: To no ones surprise Shark got a full season order this week. This means that half of CBS’s new shows have full season orders. Of course when Smith was cancelled it meant that a quarter of the new shows had been cancelled - CBS only introduced four new series this year. No word yet on The Class but I wouldn’t be surprised if it got a full year too.
Also, NBC (which is simultaneously complaining about the cost of production of new programming in the first hour of primetime – see below) has announced that they will be ordering more episodes of Friday Night Lights, a show which at least currently airs the first hour of primetime, but would probably benefit from a move away from Dancing With The Stars and NCIS.
CBS getting creative; NBC, not so much: Apparently next season on CBS won’t feature as any new “procedural” series like CSI or Criminal Minds. TV Squad reports that the network is looking at series about wife swapping and the sexual revolution of the 1970s, the women’s movement, a comedy from one of the writers of Borat, and an American version of Viva Blackpool. The latter is a BBC production that mixed the criminal investigation of a murder at a casino (though they called it an arcade, a word that has a different meaning in
NBC on the other hand has announced that it will no longer be programming either comedies or dramas in the first hour of primetime. According the NBC president Jeff (two ‘F’s, one ‘Z’) Zucker, “advertisers just won't pay enough money during the 8 pm time slot to cover the costs of comedies and dramas.” Instead the network will be offering reality programs and game shows. In fact what Zucker really means is that advertisers won’t pay enough money for the comedies and dramas that NBC is putting on the air during the “8 pm time slot”. That’s fairly obvious since none of the other four networks has had much problem finding sponsors. Currently NBC runs the drama Friday Night Lights and the comedies The Office and My Name Is Earl in the first hour of prime time.
What does the PTC hate this week?: NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox and the FX cable network. In a statement at the NewsCorp shareholders meeting, PTC Chairman of the Board Lee Weil made this statement: “Mr. Murdoch, I believe that you are a good man with solid values, and yet NewsCorp has clearly carved out a niche for itself by specializing in smutty, vulgar, and violent entertainment, all in pursuit of profit. You should be ashamed - but it’s clear that you aren’t, and neither are the executives that work for you.” Well right there he got it wrong. Rupert Murdoch is a man whose newspapers ouside of the United States regularly feature pictures of topless women, graphic details of the latest in gossip and whatever titillating crime has oozed out from whatever rock. Murdoch is all about the profit. Always has been from the time he took over the Adelaide News after the death of his father. Profit is why he founded Fox News Channel.
The PTC Chairman then goes on to list some of the “smutty, vulgar, and violent entertainment” Murdoch should be ashamed of:
- Nip/Tuck which has featured themes of misogyny, sexual violence, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia. The producer of the series has publicly stated that his goal is to pave the way for broadcast television to feature a “rear-entry” sex-scene in the next three years.
- The Shield which has featured an officer of the law acting out rape fantasies with prostitutes and being forced to fellate a gang member at gunpoint.
- Rescue Me which recently included a scene of a man raping his estranged wife.
- The War at Home which one TV critic described as “unconscionably smutty.”
The PTC Chairman then went on to decry “NewsCorp’s flagrant disregard for families as demonstrated by its abuse of the publicly owned airwaves through its refusal to abide by federal decency laws and community standards and NewsCorp’s complicity in forcing families to subsidize the pornographic content on its cable properties as part of their cable package.” At this point Weil informs us that he\e “cherishes the First Amendment” but then quotes Theodore Roosevelt: “I believe in the first amendment, and I cherish the freedoms our forefathers fought and died for, but I also know that with freedom must come responsibility. Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘Men can never escape being governed. Either they must govern themselves or they must submit to being governed by others.’” Weil offers a warning: “Until NewsCorp does a better job of keeping sexually explicit and violent content off of television during hours when children are in the viewing audience; until NewsCorp stops forcing cable subscribers to help pay for the disgusting and depraved content of Nip/Tuck you will be under the constant scrutiny of the FCC, of Congress, and of millions of outraged American families.” Families represented, of course, by the PTC and its more religiously based counterpart the American Family Association.
They actually changed the Worst of the Week show from what I thought I had seen earlier this week – back when my own computer actually worked. This time around their Worst of the Week is the episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which featured Jerry Lewis. They started out by pointing out Jerry’s presence on the show: “One of