''Practice'' will take network presidents hostage. They'd play themselves on an episode spoofing reality TV by Gary Susman
''The Practice'' creator David E. Kelley, who's one of TV's most prolific writers, isn't too pleased with the reality-show trend that threatens to elbow many scripted shows and the jobs of their writers off the networks. So he's taking matters into his own hands by kidnapping at least one network president and maybe all of them -- at least within the fictional confines of his ABC legal drama. According to Variety, CBS president Les Moonves, a former actor, will play himself.
The episode, tentatively titled ''Les Is More,'' is about a woman who takes Moonves hostage and tries to sell him a reality program about the abduction (and potential slaying) of a network president. Kelley is hoping to recruit Fox's Sandy Grushow and NBC's Jeff Zucker to play themselves in a scene that would have them commenting on the situation for a TV news report. It's not clear why he hasn't written a part for his own network bosses at ABC, but he's received their approval to shoot the episode.
Kelley expressed his irritation with reality programming earlier this year when ABC moved ''The Practice'' to Mondays, where it got clobbered by Fox's ''Joe Millionaire.'' Now he has to hope his idea doesn't backfire, with the networks' reality gurus watching and saying, ''Hmm, now there's an idea...''