The attorney general's idea for a TV show

By Heather Keets and Benjamin Svetkey
Updated November 12, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

Janet Reno: Doing the Right Thing

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Seems even Attorney General Janet Reno wants to bust into the biz. During an Oct. 25 interview about TV violence on PBS’ The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Reno revealed her own concept for a socially redeeming program. ”A 14-year-old kid is my hero,” she pitched. ”(He) helps raise his two siblings while his mother is recovering from crack addiction. Three years later, she goes to law school, and he graduates as valedictorian.” Reno offered the networks the idea free, but could it really fly? We checked with some experts:

* Sherwood Schwartz, producer of Gilligan’s Island: ”I don’t see how the networks could turn it down. They’re in enough trouble with Reno as it is.”

* Susan Smith, agent for Kathy Bates, Jack Palance, and Miranda Richardson: ”It could work as a series. But in a season or two, after six Emmys, it’d be retired to PBS because of low ratings.”

* Michael O’Hara, executive producer of ABC’s recent movie Murder in the Heartland: ”Drug addiction has never worked in a TV-movie format. People tune out drug problems because they’re so painful.”

* Megan McTavish, head writer for All My Children: ”Please, Janet, writing TV is not your job. Your job is to get the drug dealer out of the park near my house!”

* James Gordon, spokesman for NYPD Blue creator Steven Bochco: ”He’d do it, but only if he could put nudity in it.”

Janet Reno: Doing the Right Thing

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  • Paul Anderson (Author)