January 29, 2008

Cableboxing: Law & Order: The next crop

On Jan. 4, The New York Times reported that NBC’s “Law & Order” might cross the Atlantic to launch a new chapter in London.Seeing as how the longest running crime series in the history of television isn’t going away anytime soon, we thought we’d propose a few new additions to ensure the franchise usurps its cable headquarters, TNT (Channel 43 on your Insight dial), and lives on in perpetual syndication. (The original “Law & Order” airs Wednesdays on NBC at 10 p.m.)Dun-dun:“Law & Order: Crossing Guard” — Fed up with the callous strictures of retirement, a San Francisco (yep, “L&O” goes bicoastal on this one) baby-boomer reinvents herself as a dependable crossing guard to make sure kids stay on the sidewalk. Through rain, sleet, snow and soccer moms, this femme fatale helps children avoid certain death by playing on their fear of the automotive. With an intro sequence interpreting the legendary theme song by, who else? The White Stripes.“Law & Order: Mall Security” — “Unhand that Prada!” shouts the ex-Special Forces operative-turned-rapacious mall overseer. With a keen eye for shoplifters, not to mention a secret fetish for Bath & Bodyworks gift baskets, this tour de farce is guaranteed to incite random thefts by disciples of Jay and Silent Bob.“Law & Order: Locker Room” — Hired by a major league baseball team, two private detectives, whose names rhyme with Briscoe and Green, spend long hours rooting out rampant steroid use … before it starts. Possible cameos from Andy Pettite, Jason Giambi and Bud Selig.“Law & Order: Clerks” — This psycho-criminal drama examines the social musings among courtroom stenographers. What are their lives like inside, and outside, the fast-paced drama of a trial? What is their preferred hand lotion? How quickly will they develop carpal tunnel? —Mat Herron‘Lost’ returns ThursdayAs my hour-long dramas (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “ER,” “Men in Trees”) and venerable sitcoms (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men”) fall by the wayside this winter, I’ve got a different kind of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that doesn’t have to do with the cold weather and lack of sunlight. What once got me through these dark and dismal times is gone — only to be replaced by shoddy reality shows about rehab and Scott Baio. There is one beacon of hope in a heap of dying television shows — “Lost” returns for eight episodes starting Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC. Although 16 were planned, only half were completed before the Writers Guild of America strike began in November.So where were we? There will be an hour-long recap beginning at 8 p.m. before the first episode, thank god, because I haven’t a clue. I remember Charlie is down in a secret bunker under the ocean, and Jack has a radio that can signal for help. But was with those crazy flash-forwards of Jack and Kate in the future? Guess we’ll find out soon. Or will we? —Sara HavensAds, XLII-styleAd Age, which covers the advertising industry, says Anheuser-Busch, Audi, Toyota, Coca-Cola and Careerbuilder.com bought spots for Sunday’s contest, as have Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. Six of A-B’s seven TV spots will be devoted to Bud Light, the most spots ever for a single brand in Super Bowl history. —MHContact the writers at leo@leoweekly.com