I Love Television 


Regular readers of this column already know how I feel about network executives – but I do love repeating myself! By and large, network execs are only concerned about two things: where their next bump of blow is coming from and when their next prostitute will arrive. (While the cocaine is definitely more important, they need the prostitute so they can snort the coke off her bare bottom.)

Execs don't give two poops about your needs, and they certainly don't give even a half-poop about artistic integrity. They just want their money, and they want it fawking NOW. (How else are they supposed to pay off their enormous coke/prostitute-bottom bill?) So when you ask questions like, "How come really great shows like Arrested Development get the shaft, yet crap like According to Jim keeps coming back like herpes," they get a good laugh out of that. The bottom line is dough-re-mi and the aforementioned coke on a prostitute's bottom.

That's why a new TV venture like megalomillionaire Rupert Murdoch's "My Network" is so infuriating. Murdoch – the moneybags behind Fox, Fox News, the New York Post and anything else that Republicans suck down on a daily basis – announced recently that he was starting a new broadcast network to "fill the space" left behind when UPN and the WB teamed up to form The CW (debuting this September and featuring the best of both nets). It seems when the merger went down, a few UPN affiliates were left in the dust with no prime-time programming. And while this could've been a terrific opportunity for someone with a little creative juice, Murdoch stomped in with his newest deformed baby, called "My Network."

I have to admit, when I first heard the name, I said, "Awesome! Maybe this is the network that will somehow allow viewers to choose shows according to their individual tastes." Unfortunately, I forgot about the "coke/prostitute-bottom" paradigm.

As it turns out, "My Network" isn't "Humpy's Network" or "Your Network" – it's "Rupert Asshole Murdoch's Network" … which I agree is a bit of a mouthful. According to the press peeps, the programming for "My Network" "will be different than anything else that's on broadcast television today." And by "different" they mean WORSE.

Here are a few juicy selections from "My Network's" lineup: Monday through Friday nights will feature "a serialized drama" – or as anyone who's ever watched TV before likes to call it, a SOAP OPERA. Augghhh! They really think we're that stupid! Also along for the tedious ride is Catwalk, "the ultimate search for the next 'It' supermodel" – which is just so totally different from America's Next Top Model, isn't it? Then there's Celebrity Love Island, in which "six gorgeous celebrity and six non-celebrity singletons" try to differentiate themselves from every other boring-as-chalk reality dating show on TV.

In these advancing technological times – when the Internet gives consumers what they want, when they want it – calling a network filled with retarded, rehashed trash "My Network" is a spit in the eye. Murdoch and his cronies would probably be better off televising seven days of snorting blow off a hooker's ass. At least somebody would be getting some pleasure out of the deal.

Still waiting for "my" network …
steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, MARCH 9
9 P.M. FOX THE O.C.
Marissa and Ryan's crappy relationship gets crappier thanks to dead Johnny's cousin Sadie!

9 P.M. WB BEAUTY AND THE GEEK
Season Finale! The final two couples go into the "elimination room" – and if that doesn't sound "Holocaust-y," I don't know what does.

FRIDAY, MARCH 10
10 P.M. SCI BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
President Roslin is forced to choose between letting Baltar win the election or cheating. CHEAT! CHEAT!

SATURDAY, MARCH 11
11:30 P.M. NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Matt Dillon (Crash) hosts, along with musical guests Arctic Monkeys.

SUNDAY, MARCH 12
9 P.M. HBO THE SOPRANOS
Season Premiere! From what I can remember about this show, it's about a bunch of mafia goombahs?

10 P.M. HBO BIG LOVE
Debut! Bill Paxton stars as a polygamist who has twice as many troubles as the regular married guy.

MONDAY, MARCH 13
8 P.M. FOX PRISON BREAK
With Lincoln's execution only minutes away, the team figures this is as good a time as any to make a break for it.

9 P.M. FOX 24
As if CTU doesn't have enough problems already, here come the dicks from Homeland Security.

TUESDAY, MARCH 14
9 P.M. ABC SONS & DAUGHTERS
Good buzz abounds for this new, partially improvised sitcom.

10 P.M. FX THE SHIELD
Lem prepares to plead guilty to heroin possession, which means the Strike Team is up crap creek.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15
9 P.M. UPN VERONICA MARS
Veronica is hired to expose an extortionist who wants to out Neptune High's gay teens!

9:30 P.M. FOX THE LOOP
Debut! A new sitcom about a party guy trying to balance a corporate job and getting laid.


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