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September 19, 2007 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | September 19, 2007 |

Often I find myself saying: “Self, Brett Ratner does not taint your/my life enough. When, oh when, will he taint you/me more? When will this national nightmare end?!?” And my cries have been heard by NBC, which may just be answering them now that it’s ordered up a new pilot from the crapmaster. So next fall, if the cards are played juuuust right, we might all be the lucky recipient of more Ratnerian photons flying out of our television screens thanks to “Blue Blood.” Based on a book by a NYC cop, the show will be about a cop’s first year on duty, with Ratner producing and directing the pilot. And if it’s not awesome enough that Ratner is bringing us yet another cop show, how’s this for a one-two punch: (a) the pilot was passed on by the network of ultimate discerning taste, Fox; and (b) the pilot is being written by Neil Tolkin, and while you may not recognize his name, you surely recognize his masterpiece — 1988’s License to Drive! This has the potential to be the perfect storm of televised crap. Fuck the new 2007 fall season, 2008 can’t get here fast enough!

Speaking of crappy pilots, I’ve previously told you about a new Fox pilot for next year called “Oaks,” from Shawn Ryan (he who created “The Shield”). This is the P.O.S. about three families from three different decades all living in the same haunted house (remember what I said about Fox being the bastion of high quality TV?). Well she who was unceremoniously dumped from the CBS’ upcoming “Moonlight,” Shannon Lucio, has signed onto “Oaks,” and I’m devastated by this news. If Lucio keeps signing on to new pilots, when will she find the time to film the sequel to 2005’s “Spring Break Shark Attack?” I’m not even kidding about this — that TV movie is one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen in years, perhaps only second to “Trapped in the Closet,” and I want, nay, need more. (Seriously, I think I need to buy a dozen copies of the DVD and give it out as Chrismukkah gifts to all my friends this year.)

And to round-out the hat trick of crap, we return to NBC, which has also picked up a new game show called “The Interrogator.” Seems that Fox and ABC both have games shows focusing on the highly awesome category of “people telling lies” (with “Nothing But the Truth” and “Duel,” respectively), and clearly the Peacock didn’t want to be left behind. “The Interrogator,” which is based on some Dutch idea, will have five contestants going up against each other in some type of competition that involves lies and bluffing and looking at how much money is in a safe and then talking about how much money there was and then please just give me one bullet to put in this unloaded gun so I can end the sorrow….

On the good TV front, Salon’s crushalicious Heather Havrilesky has given out this year’s “Buffy,” a token award given to “the most underappreciated show in all of TV land.” Previous winners have been the stellar “The Wire,” “Veronica Mars” and “Battlestar Galactica,” and Havrilesky goes a perfect 4-for-4 by giving this year’s prize to “Friday Night Lights.” If you’re still not convinced that you need to be watching this show, go read what she’s got to say about the matter. Seriously, everyone needs to watch this show.

Meanwhile, as you know, the fall season kicks into gear over the next two weeks, and the most anticipated thing amongst those in-the-know is Ken Burns’ new documentary, “The War.” It starts running on PBS next week, with four two-hour nights, followed by three more two-hour chunks the following week. It’s a mighty investment of time that is unfortunately facing off against the heart of the premieres, but everything I hear is that this is the thing to watch. So those who are looking forward to what may wind up being the definitive program about World War II should set their TiVos now. But you might want to see which version your PBS affiliate is choosing to air, since both a censored and uncensored version are available (because some affiliates are chicken shit and afraid of doing battle with the FCC). This censorship nonsense, coupled with the congestion of new show premieres, is why I’ll likely wait for the inevitable DVD box set, gobbling the whole thing up in a weekend viewing.

And I leave the roundup with this — I’ve had Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” stuck in my head for two weeks now, and I’m sharing these videos with you so that you can join me in Phil land. First are two commercials which are both slight variations on the same theme (the first one cracks my shit up no matter how many times I view it, while the best thing about the second one is actually watching Jerry O’Connell’s inability to keep a straight face in anticipation of the “gag”). The third clip is what I always think of when I hear this song, the indelible segment from the “Miami Vice” pilot, which I’d still argue is one of the greatest pilots ever.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’s desperate for the “Miami Vice” style to come back into fashion so he can bust out some old things collecting dust in the nooks of his closet.

Do You Understand the Words That Are Coming Out of My Pajiba?

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
Sept. 19, 2007

Industry | September 19, 2007 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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