We watch... so you don't have to.

The 1997 Fall Season Dead Pool: Peter Ko

Well kids, as we're fond of saying, I've done the research. I've read the reports, watched the videotape, gone to the replay. I've run it by the boys in R & D, checked with the gals in accounting, and huddled with the kids in quality control. I've punched in the numbers, charted the trends, and consulted the psychics. All to reach one inescapable conclusion...

Cripes, I'm confused.

I remember a time when this contest used to be pretty easy. I'd come home from some late night toiling at the Guardian, grab a copy of the TV Guide, and head for the porcelain throne. And there, in a span of no less than three, four minutes, I'd pick three surefire turkeys. Just like that. It was easy. They practically leapt off the page. If it wasn't the weary, puffy countenance of Gil Gerard, it was the weary, leathery mug of Glenn Frey. If it wasn't Dennis Boutsikaris screaming "Hey, I'm fucking Dennis Boutsikaris!" it was Tim Conlon screaming "Hey, I'm not even fucking Dennis Boutsikaris!" And so on. But nowadays I grab the TV Guide, head for the lavatory, and what do I get for my troubles?

Back-up. Painful, painful back-up.

If there were in fact a just and loving God--and the continued presence of Andrew "I Look More and More Like Bob Guccione's Evil Son" Clay, I think, pretty much refutes that pipe dream--this would be an easy season. First up for the wood chipper would be Jenny McCarthy and her banal bundle of insipid banality, Jenny. Just on principle. Next would be Dellaventura. Because damn it, the day there's a place in America's heart for Danny Aiello is the day I invade Canada. Finally, we'd grab a whole lot of 'em--Danza, Meego, Players, Union Square, Hiller and Diller, Cracker Sleepwalkers, Teen Angel--tie them up with some leftover fishing twine, and turn the setting switch on the ol' chipper to "deadwood."

And then we'd dance a happy dance while lighting the night with the fires of their ashes.

But that's not what's going to happen this year. Because the sad truth is that no matter how much Jenny McCarthy should have her head caved in with a heavy thing, a large portion of this great republic of ours--and I include myself in this group--can't help but be struck dumb by her spectacular snoobs. And while Danny Aiello may have all the appeal of a festering sore, the harsh truth is that he and Les Moonves are just that tight. And even though Tony Danza long ago lost his charm--way back about the time that Marilu Henner lost her figure--the unfortunate fact is that Warren Littlefield couldn't cancel a test pattern.

And so we guess. Educated, of course. But guess, nonetheless.

The third show canceled this season will be You Wish, because... well, because I do.

The second show canceled will be Over the Top, starring the irrepressible Tim Curry and the easily repressed, but still not very funny, Annie Potts. The reasons are many. For one thing, as science has proven time and again, it's simply not possible for homo sapiens to suffer through extended exposure to Tim Curry without going insane. Apes, yes. Homo sapiens, no. For another, this is the show that ABC entertainment chief Jamie Tarses booked while she was boffing the producer, Robert Morton. Suffice it to say, they're not boffing anymore. And for a still a third reason... well, good grief, it's Tim Curry. Do I need a third reason?

That leaves one. The first show canceled this year, the big cheese, the newest proud entrant in the Hall of Crap will be, drum roll please...

Total Security!

Lord knows, there are plenty of very good reasons this show will go first. Steven Bochco, whose track record is either hit or miss--and we all know which one the network of Hiller and Diller bought. The Belushi factor--in that it has one. And not the talented one. He's still dead. The timeslot--Saturday night, where it's well known that all non-cross-eyed actors who aren't sleeping with the NBC programming department go to die. Then there's the network--ABC. Frankly the only way Total Security survives is if Jim Belushi starts boffing Jamie Tarses....



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