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Scott D. Pierce: Hurrah, NBC! Boo, Fox!

SHARE Scott D. Pierce: Hurrah, NBC! Boo, Fox!

It's easy, and kind of fun, to kick a network while it's down. And I've had a lot of fun with NBC over the past couple of years.

But, at the risk of ruining my evil, snarky reputation, I'm here today to heap praise on the Peacock network.

It's actually easier to put really good shows on the air than it is to keep them on the air. And NBC has done that with three really good shows this fall — "Heroes," "Studio 60" and "Friday Night Lights."

It wasn't hard for NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly to stick with "Heroes," because it's a big hit. But the other two are far from hits, and yet he has renewed them through the end of the season.

He says he's being patient with good shows that deserve a chance to build an audience. I hope that's true — it's how NBC became both a critical and ratings success way back in the '80s.

But Reilly is taking a risk by doing this. It could cost him his job.

Let's hope quality wins out. And, in the meantime, let's give Reilly a big pat on the back.

AT THE OTHER END of the TV spectrum, Fox has sunk to a new low — as hard to believe as that might be.

On Monday, Nov. 27, and Wednesday, Nov. 29, Fox will devote two hours of its prime-time schedule to "O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened."

Really.

That's right, the man a civil-trial jury found responsible for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and Ron Goldman, tells Fox's Judith Reagan "how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes." Which, he maintains (wink, wink), he was not.

Gee, do you think it has anything to do with the publication of Simpson's book, "If I Did It," on Nov. 30?

"This is an interview that no one thought would ever happen," Mike Darnell, Fox's executive vice president of alternative programming, said in a prepared statement.

No, it's an interview we hoped would never happen. Fox is giving Simpson two hours in prime time to sell his book, which exploits murders he was found legally responsible for.

It's grotesque.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com