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Viewers Welcome to Guess Where TV's Headed

(Posted August 26, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

Summer's nearly over, Labor Day is all too close, and the new fall TV shows are just around the corner.

In short, this is a good time to confront the season ahead, then boldly make some forecasts for what's to come.

But why should I be the one to stick my neck out? Your guess is as good as mine. So kindly ponder the following possibilities, then take your best shot.


As NBC prepares to unveil its new lineup, word has leaked out that cost-cutting measures are in effect at the fourth-place network thanks to a projected $1 billion drop in advertising revenue. As an additional move to save some bucks, NBC plans to:


(a) Record all its shows at a slower speed to use less tape.

(b) Cast each of its series with only one actor, then make him perform all the roles.

(c) Start airing programs people want to see, eliminating the expense of replacing all those bad shows.

_ As everyone knows, Martha Stewart is returning to TV in grand style this fall, with both a weekly NBC series and a daily syndicated show. Though some insist past legal woes have damaged her image, Stewart will defy naysayers by:

(a) Beating everybody in prime time.

(b) Beating everybody in the daytime.

(c) Beating everybody as a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

_ Many cable news programs went tabloid in a big way this summer, devoting hour after hour to stories about missing people. Now as fall approaches, we can expect those cable networks to:

(a) Maintain their current news ratio, which is roughly 10 percent of their coverage allotted to President Bush, the war on terrorism and the economy, and 90 percent to Natalee Holloway.

(b) Refuse to cover anyone in the news who's present and accounted for.

(c) Dispatch Greta Van Susteren to look for NBC's missing audience.

_ Robert Novak, a longtime commentator on CNN, stormed off one of that network's shows earlier this month after swearing on the air. He and the network jointly agreed he should take a hiatus. But soon Novak will announce:

(a) He's coming back to CNN, on the condition that he never speak, just smile demonically.

(b) He has joined Dave Chappelle in hiding.

(c) He has signed to be the new host of MTV's "Total Request Live."

_ Since Dan Rather stepped down as anchorman of the "CBS Evening News" in March, veteran newsman Bob Schieffer has been filling in while the network tries to come up with a long-term plan. When the new format is unveiled, a key player will be:

(a) CBS correspondent John Roberts.

(b) Supreme Court nominee John Roberts.

(c) Retired anchorman Walter Cronkite in repeat broadcasts from the network's glory days repackaged as "The Best of the CBS Evening News."

_ Complaints have raged in recent months that public broadcasting has a liberal slant in its programming. Don't be surprised when:

(a) Charges are lodged against General Electric that, after hiring conservative pundit Tucker Carlson away from his weekly PBS talk show, the company purposely buried him where no would ever find him ... on the MSNBC nightly schedule.

(b) The distinguished science series "NOVA" is joined by alternative science shows, including "Intelligent Design & You" and "Exploring Our Flat Earth."

(c) On a future episode of "Sesame Street," Halliburton lands a contract to rebuild Oscar the Grouch's trash can.

_ The Emmys, which will be handed out next month, have already sparked plenty of speculation over who will win. But the night of Sept. 18, viewers will be startled when:

(a) Just prior to airtime, televangelist Pat Robertson condemns the broadcast as "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

(b) The Academy, which habitually dispenses trophies to many of the same winners year after year, bestows a comedy-actress Emmy on "Murphy Brown" star Candice Bergen which would be her sixth even though that show has been out of contention since 1998.

(c) In an effort to speed the Emmycast along, acceptance remarks are trimmed like never before. Instead of "Thank you," each winner will be limited to saying only "Thanks."

_ Viewers are eagerly awaiting the September return of ABC's sci-fi thriller "Lost." On the season opener, what's been lurking underneath that mysterious hatch is finally revealed to be:

(a) A product placement for Mailboxes Etc.

(b) A secret escape tunnel dug by inmates from Fox's new drama "Prison Break."

(c) NBC's lost audience.

___

EDITOR'S NOTE Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org



Source: Yahoo! News
 


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