If I were a network boss, the first thing I'd do would be to ban any show ever referred to -- by anyone, under any circumstances -- as "high concept.'' OK, that's a ridiculous exaggeration to make a rhetorical point. The first thing I would do would be to sign Jennifer Aniston to a big contract and then order her to date me. The second thing would be the high-concept ban.
The problem with high-concept shows is that almost invariably, nobody has put any thought into them past the gimmicky concept. Some idiot in a pitch meeting says, ``Hey, what about a crime-fighting car?'' and the next thing you know, trillions of American brain cells are dying an agonizing death in front of Knight Rider.
The dangers of high-concept programming are on gruesome display as the rollout of the fall broadcast schedule continues Tuesday. Fox's alleged sitcom Running Wilde and ABC's cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 probably sounded great over the Beverly Hills lunches during which they were conceived. On the TV in your living room, not so much.
On the other hand, Fox's sitcom Raising Hope is low in concept, lower in class and lowest of all in shame -- but relatively high in laughs, so long as you keep your living room curtains closed so no one can see you watching. Read my full reviews in Tuesday's Miami Herald.