Spring Forward, Fall Back

Why do TV execs bring the same ratty toys to show-and-tell?

Duets is like the shrewdly conceived spawn of Dancing with the Stars and Idol. "Celebrities" (and you know how loosely this term is bandied about on FOX) will be teamed with professional singers to perform live for charity. Hypothetical pairing: Nikki Sixx and Daphne Zuniga. Potential for awesomeness: highly debatable. Odds of early cancellation: nil.

'30 Rock': If you don't wave hard enough, Lorne Michaels will cut off your hand
Eric Liebowitz
'30 Rock': If you don't wave hard enough, Lorne Michaels will cut off your hand

So there you have it. A pristine, virginal cross section of shows absolutely no one has seen yet. Well, except for Seventh Heaven. Oh wait, and What About Brian?—that's not strictly new either. And I suppose those two sketch-comedy-based shows merely offer a meta-perspective on a series we've been watching since 1975. And Duets is an obvious retread of other celeb-meets-pro shows we've suffered through. I guess it's an autumnal rite of passage: novelty succumbing to crushing familiarity, just like a new school year.

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