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Radio on the TV

Is freedom in the idiot box?

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"The revolution will not go better with Coke." -- Gil Scott-Heron

Maybe not ... but it will be televised -- Mario Lopez and Vanessa Minnillo will probably co-host, and you might have to wash it down with a trans-fat free, no-foam, decaf, chai iced latte. We've clearly reached the point when any mundane phenomenon in society is fair game for a TV show. No longer do you have to be an aspiring model or singer to be on a reality show. The floodgates are wide open for any show about anybody aspiring to do anything, as long as they'll bring in the right sneaker-, beverage- or ringtone-buying demographic. Just take a look at some of this year's mid-season replacement shows.

Most intriguing has to be I'm From Rolling Stone, MTV's new show about interns at the magazine which could have been called I'm Making the Band Almost Famous. I guess the first lesson for aspiring journalists is that "the story is about me." There's another MTV offering, Dancelife, which is apparently JLo's anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better homage to Diddy -- proving that there's no better way to get back at your ex-lover that you're not-so-secretly still carrying a torch for than topping his terrible girl band with a terrible reprise of your own Fly Girl phase. Then we've got The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll, which could have been called "After Simon Cowell rips you a new one, Eddie Murphy will deny that he's your baby's daddy." And in a similar fashion, there's NBC's Grease: You're The One That I Want. They're hoping viewers will be hopelessly devoted and won't leave the show stranded at the Nielsens.

Wouldn't it be great if there were mid-season replacements for more than just TV shows? How about a system that allowed you to switch movie theaters to see something else if the movie you were watching doesn't work out for you? That way if I was watching, say, Dangerous Minds and I didn't like it, I could switch theaters to go see Freedom Writers. Or what if there were mid-season replacements when your elected representatives didn't work out the way you hoped?

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