Spend days watching the messy, venal, illogical process that produces network TV's fall season — as I did last week — and you will catch a tiny thought irritating the back of your mind like a mosquito bite. • I could do waay better. • So, for the rest of this piece, I'm going to take over as the King of Television, ruling the world of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox with an iron fist. No more lame "unscripted" series based on vapid ex-Maxim models; enough police dramas ripping off CSI and Law & Order. • There's a new monarch on the throne. And here's what the King of Television decrees:
Saturday Night Live must feature Will Ferrell or Justin Timberlake as host every week. In a long season, only the last two original shows hosted by Timberlake and Ferrell approached the old-school grandeur of SNL in its prime — when sketches grabbed the zeitgeist by the throat and anybody might turn up (Ferrell's show had Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway, Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, to name a few).
Smoking-hot stars such as Teri Hatcher and Courteney Cox do not get to star in shows where they pretend they are not smoking-hot stars with the best liposuction a network TV salary can buy. Clips from ABC's new series Cougar Town featuring Cox poking at her 1 percent belly fat — just before causing a kid to run his bike into a car by flashing him in her underwear — make the writers look blind and the star look stupid.
A new broadcast network will arise, packed with all the cool shows the networks canceled this year. And when ERIC-TV's lineup of Pushing Daises, Life on Mars, The Unusuals (with Amber Tamblyn), My Name Is Earl, Samantha Who?, Kings and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles assembles its awesome fan base of maladjusted TV geeks, we will drown rival network executives in snarky blog posts and mailed-in packages of Nerds.
Chris Rock, Daily Show senior black correspondent Larry Wilmore, Wanda Sykes and Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi will be locked in a room until they come up with at least one blindingly funny series starring an ethnically diverse cast in which Tyler Perry does not dress up like a woman.
ABC is going to seriously integrate the one area of network television that has remained mostly monochromatic; yes, there will be a black, Hispanic or east Indian Bachelor.
There will be cool, successful series created for Idris Elba, Amy Ryan, Lance Reddick, Jimmy Smits and Amy Poehler (Poehler's lame-o Parks and Recreation SO does not count). Because these talents deserve an amazing platform, and that's how this ruler rolls.