If You Are Being Murdered, Press One


I have decided what On the Lot could be in aonther life: a training ground for TV admen and women.

I thought that as I watched the show last night, then had that suspicion confirmed, at least in my own mind, by the story about networks trying to work more compelling storylines into ads so they won't be TiVo'd out of existence.

Actually, what Fox really needs is a compelling storyline for the show, which if Monday night's ratings are any gauge, virtually nobody is watching.

But I digress. The show Monday night, which I actually kind of like, featured 18 would-be filmmakers producing one-minute films in hopes of impressing a panel of judges including Carrie Fisher and the Damon Runyanesque Garry Marshall.. Anyway, 17 of those 18 won't win the DreamWorks film deal and the endlessly touted office on the studio lot, but maybe some of them could find work producing the new brand of TiVo-resistant ads.

At times, it was difficult to determine whether you were watching one of the one-minute films or one of the one-minute ads in between the one-minute films.

For instance, there was the airport security line disrobing ritual that morphed into a sensuous fantasy for one traveler. I smelled perfume commercial all over that one.

Then there was the one about the woman being burgled who places a call to police only to be greeted by an endless automated menu with advice like. "If you're being murdered, press one." At least that was the first option.

Anyway, even if nobody winds up watching the show–it was beaten by various repeats inlucing an old "Old Christine," perhaps Fox could make a little money shopping some of those submission to Madison Avenue.

Just a thought.

By John Eggerton