I don’t know about you — and why should I? — but I expect great things from the new television season, now that the networks are in ratings hell. In the past, such trouble has led high-priced, creative TV execs to make shrewd programming moves, such as MORE CLEAVAGE.
In fact, whenever ratings dipped, network presidents simply issued a memo saying “MORE CLEAVAGE!” Ratings went back up, and everyone went to the Emmy Awards.
But now, according to TV Guide, “Prime time television will see a lot more daring, adult and innovative fare this fall.” This must be inspired, no doubt, by daring, adult and innovative fare such as “Jake and the Fat Man,” a true-to-life show if I ever saw one.
Of course, you can’t blame TV Guide. If it came out and said the truth, namely, “This fall you can expect the same dumb shows as last fall, plus Burt Reynolds,” nobody would buy it, except maybe Burt Reynolds.
Which is why I am here: to preview the new season for real, dude.
First, let us review the most important Rules of Television.
1) There are three networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, which are exactly the same, and then there is FOX, which is also the same, but gets to talk dirty.
2) MORE CLEAVAGE.
Now, what can we expect this fall?
* “Twin Peaks” (ABC) — A collection of misfits wandering around the mountains of the Pacific Northwest bleeding and staring at each other while the critics call it “smashing! . . . real art!” and the director locks himself in the bathroom and laughs his head off.
* “Double Peaks” (CBS) — A new and original show about some misfits wandering
around the mountains bleeding and staring at each other. “Completely different,” says CBS’ programming chief. “Our mountains are in the Pacific Southwest.”
* “Twin Poops” (FOX) — A new and original show about mountain people talking dirty.
* “thirtysomething” (ABC) — A group of yuppies who worry themselves sick about ovaries, baldness, and why the Cuisinart won’t work.
* “THIRTYSOMETHING” (NBC) — A new and original show about yuppies who worry themselves sick about ovaries, baldness, and why the Cuisinart won’t work, but IN CAPITAL LETTERS.
* “thirtybleep” (FOX) — A group of yuppies talking dirty.
* “Doogie Howser, M.D.” (ABC) — An extremely true-to-life show about a teenage doctor. Happens all the time.
* “Doggie Howser, M.D.” (CBS) — A new and original show about a teenage poodle.
* “Dougie Howser, L.W.” (FOX) — A show about a Canadian hockey player. Who likes to talk dirty.
* “The Simpsons” (FOX) — A cartoon show about an obnoxious, bug-eyed kid who fooled the world into thinking he invented the word “dude” and now owns half of Los Angeles.
* “The Sampsons” (NBC) — A cartoon show about an obnoxious big-eyed basketball player named Ralph who fooled the world into thinking he could play in the NBA and now sits on the bench and files his nails.
* “The O.J. Simpsons” (CBS) — A cartoon show about a family that can’t act and likes to run through airports.
* “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” (NBC) — A new show about a rapper who discovers Eddie Murphy’s old room key.
* “The Fresh Prince of Minneapolis” (CBS) — A new show about a singer who likes to wear purple underwear.
* “The Fresh Prince of Buckingham Palace” (FOX) — A new show about the son of Charles and Diana who says a dirty word and has his mouth washed out with soap.
* “Who’s The Boss?” (ABC) — An annoying show about a male housekeeper, starring Tony Danza, who, let’s face it, we should have gotten rid of a long time ago.
* “Who’s Da Boss?” (NBC) — An annoying show about the New York Yankees and George Steinbrenner who, let’s face it, we should have gotten rid of a long time ago.
* “Cop Rock” ABC — The latest offering by the clearly brilliant Steven Bochco, a show about police officers who arrest people and shoot people and then, for no apparent reason, break into song. And I am not making this up.
* “Fraggle Cop Rock” (FOX) — Same as above, but the cops are puppets. And they like to talk dirty.
* “The Wonder Years” (ABC) — A sensitive show about a child who grows up in the ’60s.
* “The Wonder Bread” (NBC) — A sensitive show about a child who grows up to be Dom DeLuise.
* “The Wonder CLEAVAGE!” (FOX) — A sensitive show about a child who grows up to be . . . a network TV executive!