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CBS' new Viva Laughlin is described as a mystery drama with music. Was anybody thinking Cop Rock when that show was first announced.

I'm sure a lot of critics were, but I'll be a few, like me, were also thinking Pennies From Heaven, the brilliant British series from Dennis Potter, perhaps the finest TV writer ever.

The concept may be too high a la Cop Rock, which was from no less a talent than Steven Bochco, or perhaps it is a novelty whose time has come.

I was thinking something else. I wonder if this choice of a music-filled show was the handiwork of Amy Osler, the former Columbia Record exec who joined CBS last fall to work more music into its prime time ineup http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6376023.html?display=Breaking+News&q=CBS+Records.

CBS is nothing if not eclectic in its prime time tastes this go-around.

Not only is there a a singing casino owner (Laughlin), but CBS also has Moonlight, which sounds like a Buffy the Nighstalker drama about a Vampire private investigator, a show about the swinging 60's, Swingtown, that already has the Parents Television Council's knickers in a twist, and Kid Nation, a show about kids left to build their own society. "Will they abandon all responsibility," CBS asked, while apparently deflecting suggestions it sounded like an update of Lord of the Flies.

As I read the descriptions of all the new shows from various nets, I am reminded of the anticipation in my household of the new TV season. When the promos began during the summer, I would start planning out that September week--when it was still all in one week.

It was a feast of sometimes terrible TV. My mother the Car, Captain Nice, OK Crackerby, but then there was Wild, Wild West and Lost in Space and Please Don't Eat the Daises.

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