By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Like sheep to the slaughter, the six broadcast networks will no doubt follow the 2004 election results with their usual brainless analysis. Here’s our prediction of how current series, midseason replacements and next fall’s pilots will more “accurately” reflect the supposed religious and right-wing mood of America. God help us.
Will Gets Grace (NBC)
NBC and Jim Burrows have retooled the show. Will denounces his homosexuality and is redeemed and sanctified. Not only does he find his High Episcopalian roots, he becomes a Republican, an Aryan from Darien, and a member of the local country club that won’t allow Jews. Unable to join him on the golf course, Grace moves to Boca.
A Southern Baptist family switches churches with a clan of Presbyterians. It’s the King James Bible versus the Holman Christian Standard Bible, so get out of the way and let the hilarity, pathos and amens begin.
Evangelical Fear Factor (NBC)
Tasks include snake handling, speaking in tongues, stoning sinners, exorcising the devil and seeing Sean Penn movies. For the final stunt, contestants are nailed to a cross.
BSI: Bible Study Investigation (CBS)
Texas businessmen sit around a table in a stark room in Midland and study the Bible over and over and over again. Their goal is not to move their lips when they read.
For Christ's Sake (Fox)
Episode One of this sitcom starts at the Last Supper, where . . .
The Happy Iraqis (UPN)
Three’s Company (ABC)
Suzanne Somers is the landlord when George W. Bush, Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic share an apartment in The Hague while a tribunal decides which one of them is a war criminal. Jacques Chirac has a cameo as their oh-so-clumsy chef.
Thrills and spills as U.S. Special Forces comb the mountains to catch Osama bin Laden. Valid transportation includes Humvees, donkeys and oxen. Instant disqualification if any contestant is found outsourcing the job to Pakistani armies or Afghan warlords.
Deficit Poker Showdown (NBC for Bravo)
Poker expert Phil Gordon and Gregory Mankiw, chairman of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, host a weekly game for congressional Republicans who keep raising pork-barrel spending while continuing to cut taxes for the very rich.
Survivor: America (CBS)
Alarmed by the religious right’s uproar over two suspected lesbian contestants on Survivor: Vanuatu, Mark Burnett retools in time for May sweeps. Now four minimum-wage workers, two illegal aliens, an unwed, pregnant teacher from South Carolina living with her boyfriend, a mentally handicapped youth convicted of murder in Texas, and a doctor in an abortion clinic are dumped in downtown Detroit and made to live forever on what’s left after Bush privatizes Social Security.
ER: Season Cliffhanger (NBC)
Someone has placed a “Do Not Resuscitate” notation in Dick Cheney’s medical records, and the FBI is called in to hunt down the Democrat who did it. Special guest stars: Teresa Heinz Kerry, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Al Gore, Elton John.
Worst Wing (NBC)
Stung by falling ratings, Bob Wright puts The West Wing into full tilt. So it’s 2005 and President Bartlett’s coffin is lying in state after his suicide by hanging . . .
All in the Family (Fox)
Rupert Murdoch wangled the rights from Norman Lear, so now Archie is an illegal-alien, African-American, abortion-lovin’ liberal who rants and raves about the right-wing morons in the White House. Episode One: Archie’s comments bring the FBI to his doorstep. He is held under the Patriot Act as a “person of interest” and not allowed to see a lawyer. Episode Two: Archie learns to “aw, jeez, stifle” himself in Guantánamo Bay because his jailer’s last assignment was Abu Ghraib prison.
Vote Right or Die (UPN/MTV)
Following the distinguished lead of P. Diddy, rap and hip-hop artists spend 30 minutes chanting in unison that “All the bling bling will only get you put in Sing Sing/If you don’t start following religion and the right wing.” Host: Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
Four Seventh-day Adventist gal pals live in Manhattan, earn millions on Wall Street, tithe to the Republican Party and swoon over Ron Silver and Stephen Baldwin. The star is Carrie, who has an on-again, off-again, relationship with the adulterous Mr. Big, played by Rudolph Giuliani, until she finally becomes his Trophy Wife No. 3.
Everybody Loves Father Raymond (CBS)
This Roman Catholic priest is sent to parish after parish, but somehow he still manages to keep in touch with the altar boys he meets along the way. Since Dick Wolf will produce both shows, expect some crossover episodes with Law & Order: SVU.
Oprah’s Favorite Republicans (ABC)
Instead of pricey trinkets billed as “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” the talk-show phenom sweet-talks her studio audience into taking home the gifts that keep on giving gab: conservative commentators. Ann Coulter isn’t picked until she is gagged.
The Price is Right (CBS)
Now that Bob Barker has retired, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill O’Reilly take turns hosting. Contestants have to guess the price needed to settle with each woman accusing the men of sexual harassment and other so-called playful behavior.
Trading Spaces (Fox)
The hit cable shelter show comes to network prime time. Osama and Obama exchange house keys. In Illinois, designer Doug Wilson updates a kitchen while, on the Afghan-Pakistani border, Hildy Santo-Tomas wallpapers a cave with straw and feathers.
Wheel of the Fortunate (ABC)
Republicans Merv Griffin and Pat Sajak give their long-running syndicated show a new twist. Instead of winning money, contestants will now choose dividend, capital gains and other tax loopholes they’d like to utilize. No more pesky “Bankrupt” spaces, either!
The Bush clan of Houston is lionized in this prime-time soap opera. There’s Poppy and The Enforcer, and W., Jeb and Neil. But their perfect life is upset when Neil’s evil ex-wife Sharon talks to gossipmonger Kitty Kelley (played by Roseanne Barr).
These resourceful relatives, after being shipwrecked near a major Midwestern mall, find refuge in a cookie-cutter chain store but then transform it into a veritable paradise of brand-name bargains. De rigueur Disney retooling will imply that Wal-Mart products are made in Switzerland instead of Third World countries with high unemployment rates and weak environmental and labor laws.
Security Moms (ABC)
Same show as Desperate Housewives, just re-titled to relieve the religious right. Loath to tinker with its first hit series in prime-time since 1999, ABC cuts a deal with Jerry Falwell, who will now replace Sean Hannity on 400 ABC Radio Network stations.
24/7 Heaven (WB)
Preacher and patriarch Eric Camden is encouraged by Karl Rove to run for a vacant congressional seat. Just one problem: Rove wants the entire Camden clan to take a loyalty oath to the Republican Party. Can Lucy’s fetus be brainwashed? Stay tuned.
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