Friday, April 27, 2007

CBS Goes After the Fear Factor

Actually this sounds like one of the boldest ideas programming-wise in a long time. Are we to credit eerie "Master of the Universe" Les Moonves, the Man with the Golden Gut, the Ambassador to Spain, manque? No, this is the brainchild of CBS' Nancy Tellum. For years the networks have been chasing after tried-and-true formulas, producing spinoffs of tired brands (For further reference see: "Joey"), and not stretching. Last season, we had NBC doing Drama-heavy programming. A noble try with decidedly mixed results. Now, CBS is going to go after vampires and the gothic (What better background white noise for this age of neo-Crusade and neo-Empire, no?). This dovetails deliciously into Our Pet Theory that deep into the second term of Republican Administrations, horror movies become largely profitable and ubiquitous affairs on the American cultural landscape (Averted Gaze). The Athenian Empire, before decline, reveled in Tragedy. It is not inconceivable that The American Empire, at it's apex, gives the world at large, culturally, an exquisite rendering of Horror (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment).

Don't ask us for the precise psycho-social reasons or particulars, know only that those Friday the Thirteenth/ Hellraiser slasher pics arose, decaying, from out of the fetid societal repressions at the climax of The Reagan Administration (The Corsair pours himself a glass of the tawny 1945 Chateaux Palmer). What better way to release the tightly wound Imperial Tensions of geopolitical conquest -- other than, of course: Sex -- than Horror? It was, after all, the American Edgar Allen Poe who introduced Horror into the world.

From Variety:

"The network known for its solid, stable schedule is now looking to add another "s"-word to its programming vocabulary: sexy.

"Poised to finish a fifth consecutive season as TV's most-watched net, CBS execs could have easily ordered up more of the meat-and-potatoes crime dramas that put them on top. Instead, they've assembled a development slate filled with the sort of swing-for-the-fences ideas normally associated with a net desperately plotting a comeback.

"There are still plenty of dead bodies in the Eye's future. But this year, the corpses are taking the form of zombies, vampires and demons.

"We went into this development season saying, 'Let's throw out the rulebook'," says CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler. 'We have an incredibly strong schedule. What better time to take risks ... and try some really surprising and unique projects?'"

Why the fuck not? (Variety)

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