Monday, April 02, 2007


Those of you that may read other external "news" sources may have heard that former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R) is contemplating a run for President, based mostly on his powerful experience as Rear Admiral Joshua Painter in The Hunt for Red October.

You may also have heard, however, that because of his current duties as District Attorney for the TV Series Law & Order (Duhnk-duhnk!), NBC may be unable to air up to 100 episodes of the series due to FCC "Fair Use" laws. With the original Law & Order (Duhnk-duhnk!), Law & Order SVU (Duhnk-duhnk!), Law & Order Criminal Intent (Duhnk-duhnk!), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (Duhnk-duhnk!), Law & Order: Elevator Inspector Unit (Duhnk-duhnk!), Law & Order: the Musical (Duhnk-duhnk - JAZZHANDS!), and the oft panned Law & Order: Real World (Duhnk-duhnk YOU WHORE!), Fred's 100 episodes accounts for nearly 1/10th of one percent of all Law & Order Episodes.


With any luck, if Sen. Thompson runs there may be an hour in the day that Law & Order (Duhnk-duhnk!) is not on.*

But considering that NBC would suffer "irreparable damages" from the loss of advertising revenue, somebody needs to come up with some creative solutions that would allow Law & Order (Duhnk-duhnk!) to remain on the air without violating FCC rules. I have two suggestions:

First, in the age of digital technology, it is certainly not beyond our abilities to graft a new virtual head to Mr. Thompson's body, preferably one with gravitas and one that doesn't make Sam Waterston's eyebrows stand out. I'm thinking Ed Asner, 'cause he kinda looks like Sam Hill but I could also see Jar Jar Binks because of his virtual acting experience.

The other option is to provide all the candidates with their own series on NBC. Picture a "Fraiser"-type series with Mitt Romney and his family of Massachusetts Mormons or a drama with Hillary Clinton as a paranormal psychic who can talk with the recently dead. Rudy Gulliani can join the cast of SNL (as he has the experience) and John McCain can be on a "Real-Talk Express" Reality Show. Dennis Kucinich gets an infomercial for spray on hair.**

The advantage of this is obvious: good shows with high viewership will increase a candidate's visibility, and translate into votes at the poles. Indeed, if the recent American Idol results are any indication, over 350 Million people will turn out to vote for the next president in 2008.

Of course, this all presents innumerable problems. Which candidate would do comedies and which would do dramas? Who gets Prime Time and who gets Late Night? Is Bill Richardson really suitable for family time? Can NBC really afford to stock up on John Edwards hair product? With over 70 declared, major candidates and several hundred undeclared and minor candidates, is there enough room in the NBC line up to fit them all in? Will NBC need to create a whole new network devoted entirely to political shows? Will it be free or like that horrible Red/White/Blue Olympic Triple Cast they did a few years back?

But, which ever solution they pursue, it can only improve the NBC line up.*** Joey? The Black Donnellys? Identity?

Yuck. Give me Newt Gingrich in a wacky situational comedy with Michael Richards any day.
* It's on right now. Go on and check. I'll wait.
** With the demise of the WB, Barack Obama is SOL.
*** Thursdays excepted.

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