Green Light It

October 25, 2012

Let’s welcome back “Battle of the Network Stars”

This year appears to be the worst slate of new network TV shows I can remember. We’ve seen the likes of “Guys With Kids” and “The Mob Doctor” pull in dismal ratings and something called “Animal Practice” on NBC already canceled. If that’s not bad enough, I saw a commercial last night for an NBC remake of the classic sitcom “The Munsters” called “Mockingbird Lane.” Apparently they needed something to compete with “Elementary,” a Sherlock Holmes-themed drama on CBS.

Clearly, there are very few good ideas coming out of Hollywood. It’s all reality shows, reboots and terrible ideas (I can’t believe anyone genuinely believed “The Mob Doctor” was going to be a hit).

As long as we can’t come up with anything fresh, why not reinvent some better old shows? Here are three that have a perfect recipe for success:

3) “Circus of the Stars” — This annual special first aired in 1977 and featured real celebrities participating in a Ringling Brothers-style circus. Think Brooke Shields on the flying trapeze and Scott Baio taming a lion in their heyday. It was sort of like “Dancing with the Stars” but with more perceived danger. Why wouldn’t this work in 2012?

2) “ABC’s Wide World of Sports” — This weekly program was known for sending top-notch announcers to cover things like Mexican cliff diving, logger competitions, World Barrel Jumping Championships and ice boat racing. Sprinkle in behind-the-scenes coverage and more of a human interest angle and this could be a primetime hit in a world where people watch “Hillbilly Handfishin'” and “Ice Road Truckers.”

1) “Battle of the Network Stars” — These were regular competitions where stars from the three major networks competed in a variety of Olympic-style sporting events. We’re talking track and field, swimming, a sweet obstacle course and much more. It attracted real stars and they took it very seriously. I remember the event typically hinging on the tug-of-war, which CBS would win because they had Lou Ferrigno. Someone needs add a few cable networks into the mix and bring this back very soon. The only issue would be figuring out who’d get the opportunity to air it. Oh, and getting the stars to participate, of course.

Who’s with me on this? What network would win the 2012 “Battle of the Network Stars?” If you could remake any show, what would it be?