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January 4, 2005
The Best Television Since The Chevy Chase Show

Al Gore's new TV "network", dubbed INdTV for now, recently sent out a prospectus for potential partners that outlined the type of original programming the former VP plans to air. Richard Leiby reports in today's Washington Post that INdTV hardly appears ready to raise the level of politics in the US:

An insider cautioned us yesterday that the e-mail represents just a sliver of the conceptual pie, but the potential must-see lineup includes:

"That's F*&#ed Up: Is there something unfathomable going on around the corner or down the street? Some state of affairs that just doesn't make sense? You can rant all you want -- it just better be good TV."

It looks like Gore aims at what he and his backers see as the hip-hop audience, complete with expletives -- even if they don't have the cojones to spell it out. In fact, the rest of the lineup for INdTV shows a similar commitment to quality programming, whether it's "All Nighter," an amateur carbon-copy of Comedy Channel's "Insomniac," or "INdTV Paparazzi," which asks viewers to get someone famous to say something substantial on video. The common thread to all of INdTV's programming is that their viewers must supply it, only receiving payment ($200) if it's used. Think of it as "America's Most Pathetic Political Videos," with a bigger stiff at the helm than Bob Saget.

It's possible that Al Gore might use this to energize the youth vote and capture them for the Democrats. That was his stated goal when he created the INdTV venture. It seems to me, though, that what INdTV aims to do is to capture the idiocy of its viewers as sideshow-type entertainment. Reality TV like American Idol may pull in viewers, but the platform on which it runs (Fox) ensures that the producers will find enough gems in the rough to put together some compelling performances. INdTV may find a couple of gems, but the overwhelming majority of their submissions will wind up being the same quality as the so-bad-they're-hilarious outtakes that AI plays occasionally.

Gore could have run for President again this cycle; instead, he backed Howard Dean just before the front-runner's implosion and sunk his time and money into creating INdTV. Dean had his one-time meltdown, but Gore has slowly dissolved over the past four years, and INdTV appears to be his "Yeeargh!"

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 4, 2005 7:24 PM

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» Gore's Network Competing with Fox for Bad TV from Chicon: The Other Red Menace
So the same people who actually liked watching Who's Your Daddy? last night and demanded fine programming such as My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss are gonna be submitting their own material to be used in INdTV programs? [Read More]

Tracked on January 4, 2005 9:18 PM

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