Friday, May 26, 2006

Tinkering with a classic

TCM is like an oasis in the muck of cable, one of the few channels the Malcontent wouldn't want to live without. But classy, elegant fare is out, along with any content tailored for a demographic over 30. Coming soon --

(TCM) has hired Rob Zombie to serve as host of a showcase of cult films, starting in October. And it has ordered pilots for two possible new shows. One, called "Idols" (hmmmm), would send a young working actor to shadow and interview an older screen legend. The other, "Take Two," will feature young stars re-enacting a scene from a classic film. The "star" in the pilot? Wilmer Valderrama, redoing part of "The Lost Weekend."

Yeah, he's so good on "That 70s Show" (talk about bad ethnic stereotypes) he can easily fill Ray Milland's shoes. Must the suits fuck up everything?

Howard Cosell, who moonlights from the grave for my Braves blog, touched on this subject in a recent post (referencing FOX's removal of broadcasting legends Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren from the local cable outlet):

Recently, as a study in sociology and pathos, this reporter began immersing himself in the life of the benighted American South, what former president and New Dealer Franklin Delano Roosevelt described as our nation’s No. 1 economic problem.

But wait! If you consider garish strip malls and bland residential subdivisions and office parks progress, then progress is washing all over that region. Indeed, the same lifeless uniformity has sadly seized control of the broadcasts of the region’s oldest big-league sports franchise, the Atlanta Braves. Fox has taken over the colorful if insane maverick Ted Turner’s once spirited television operation and peopled the broadcast booth with non entities who would make the milquetoast Frank Gifford seem positively scintillating. ...

I read that the head of this particular appendage of Murdoch’s media leviathan, one Jeff Genthner, says that "Our talent is going to have a much greater presence. We're going to keep a completely open mind about who's available, who fits with us and, most important, who fits with the fans."

If the fans are a horde of unthinking, incurious drones happy with whatever their media masters spoonfeed them, then the Fox corporate myrmidon Mr. Genthner is indeed delivering a perfect fit.

And yes, he never played the game.

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