A Fate Worse Than A Low-Rated, Canceled TV Show

Bad TV shows have littered the airwaves for some time. But what are the consequence?  Low ratings? Series cancellation? No prospects for a long-term production deal at your favorite studio-network? A bad table at The Grill?

All this doesn't sound too bad -- especially in light of recent news for TV producers on some Arab networks.  It seems a local Saudi Arabian cleric has given the a-okay for worse punishment for a wrong-sided -- or, in this religious person's eyes, "deviant" TV shows: death.

The hard-line Saudi cleric issued a fatwa, or religious decree, stating it is permissible for the owners of pan-Arab satellite networks to be killed because of programming encouraging the "deviance of thousands of people," according to Daily Variety.

This isn't the first time religious extremists have threatened members of the media with physical attack for sharing the "wrong" content or ideas. More alarming still, this is nothing new in the Arab TV world, according to the report.

TV executives say producing shows can be nothing short of a life and death experience -- what with late hours, crazy schedules, and life-changing results. But the reality is, most TV is just plain hard work -- where failure is still an option.

In the light of such religious seriousness, firings, public humiliation, loss of income and snickering from fellow colleagues looks pretty good.

Some people still want to impose punishment on CBS for the Janet Jackson breast-baring incident, or  even for that sexually frank CW marketing campaign for "Gossip Girl." At the same time, others get angry over lame TV writing, impossible-to-hear sound effects, under-performing TV advertising sales, and lousy PR.

To some people, television is that important, all that influential. But it isn't. It needs to be given a better perspective -- even by those who are its biggest manufacturers



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