I've been trying for some time to find a way to include this in a broader, more substantive piece, but then I thought -- really, about what? What could I possibly say about the larger implications of NBC's hyper-hyped and comically panderous "All American Summer" schedule that hasn't already been considered by anyone with an IQ bigger than a hamster's?
Every time I see another bombastic commercial for Nashville Star -- now inexplicably moved from, ironically, cable's "USA" network to NBC proper -- I have to fight the urge to throw something heavy at my television. If you've been fortunate enough to miss the full ads because all that flashing red, white and blue has caused you to go into an immediate epileptic seizure, they foist the likes of brand new Nashville Star host Billy Ray Cyrus (now with stronger blonde highlights!) on you -- calling him "America's Dad," which would apparently make all 300 million of us overly-exploited teenage tarts. Beyond that, NBC's motley collection of smarts-deprived shows includes American Gladiator, America's Got Talent (see a pattern developing here?) The Baby Borrowers -- the premise of which reads like a pro-abstinence counselor's wet dream -- and of course, Celebrity Circus, which stretches the already tenuous definition of "celebrity" in our culture to new lengths by slapping the label on Antonio Sabato Jr., Stacey Dash from Clueless and that doofus Chris Knight (now in his second pop cultural resurrection, the reality of which officially and non-negotiably drops him back six or seven places into the realm of K-list has-beens).
If you're searching for someone to blame for the lowest-common-denominator Foxification of the peacock's once-great primetime lineup, look no further than Ben Silverman, the co-chair of NBC Entertainment and NBC/Universal and the world's most successful overgrown frat-boy douchebag (with the exception of maybe Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance). Silverman is actually the executive producer of Nashville Star, hence why it's being moved up from NBC/Uni's farm league at USA to the majors in what would appear to be a trade for Law & Order: Criminal Intent and, one would imagine, two really shitty shows to be named later. The fact that Silverman is not only successful but has become so via the control of so much NBC programming is all the proof you need of both the existence and virility of pacts with Satan.
Back when I used to work for NBC, we made fun of the network's promotion for its summer rerun schedule; admittedly, the commercials which claimed that "if you haven't seen it, it's new to you" were worthy of a little bit of ribbing.
But I'll take four hours straight of ER reruns every night -- even in the show's present form -- rather than watch NBC resort to relying on Billy Ray Cyrus, Jerry Springer and David Hasselhoff to put asses in front of the TV. Literally.