I Demand Justice-Themed TV DramasCommentary • Opinion • legal • tv • courts • ISSUE 42•31 • Aug 2, 2006 By Gloria Roy, President, People For Televised Justice Fellow citizens, every time I turn on the television, I am ashamed of what I see. I see a society where the innocent are brutalized by the powerful. I see a culture of corruption and exploitation in which the weak are preyed upon by the greedy. We need a return to the core values of social responsibility. We must unite our voices and demand that society's wrongs be righted, before our priorities as a people are forgotten forever. I speak of nothing less than the need for justice, and I demand justice-themed TV action-adventure dramas—not two seasons from now, not three seasons from now, but this fall!What do I want? JUSTICE! When do I want it? PRIME TIME!Corruption and immorality have become endemic to of our culture, and it's about time somebody did something about it, filmed it, aired it 13 times a season, and wrapped it up in an emotionally satisfying conclusion. But our responsibilities as a society do not, and in fact cannot, end there. We must stand up and demand a gripping season-ending cliffhanger, so that the fight can continue the following fall. And in the summer, while most of us are happily sipping lemonade and lazing in the sun, the networks must air reruns responsibly and often, for we must never forget the lessons of the past. We live in the richest nation in the world, but there are millions of homeless in our streets. Where is their justice? Is it so crazy to expect that a show about a homeless, streetwise crime-fighter, protecting the back alleys of our nation's decaying inner-cities—possibly with the help of a grungy-but-sexy female sidekick who knows kung fu—be green-lit for development immediately? Is that so wrong?We live in a culture of scientific advancement, yet children are dying because they don't have health care. Where is the ensemble-cast, hospital-procedural, set-in-a-busy-big-city-emergency-room drama for them? Is one hour a week of our nation's prime-time network broadcast resources too much to ask?Our society is rife with corruption, even in the highest corridors of power, yet The West Wing is off the air. Where are the leaders who will uphold the values of yesteryear, as exemplified by ABC's early-90s drama series The Commish? Where are the strong mentors like former Law & Order District Attorney Adam Schiff, who understand that good advice and tough love go hand-in-hand? Where, I ask you? Where have our televised heroes all gone?Nor has the problem of race disappeared as so many predicted it would when Pembleton teamed up with Bayliss on the critically acclaimed series Homicide: Life On The Street. Yet today, white detectives on television outnumber African–Americans and Hispanics more than five to one. Shouldn't we all demand a fictional world where a co-star will not be judged by the color of his skin but by the development of his character?Be you male or female, white or brown, we can all learn something from Judging Amy.Even those too poor to afford anything more than basic cable have an inalienable right to watch justice shine, from the antennas of Maine to the satellite dishes of San Francisco, with limited commercial interruption, every night of the week. Until every family can see justice played out every night, even in local regional markets that do not have coast-to-coast market saturation, our work will never be done. We can make a change that will be felt from the heartland of the nation all the way into the boardrooms of Los Angeles itself. A new era of TV viewing will be at hand, as a justice-themed fall lineup rolls like a mighty thunder across all the time zones of this great nation, transforming the viewing habits of every American. For justice is eternal, and it doesn't care if you have digital cable, satellite, or rabbit ears.It is as clear as a high-definition television: Together, millions strong, we can see to it that justice-themed programming triumphs!Yes, we have finally seen a female president on TV. But that is only the beginning. Together, we can create a better tomorrow for all, where our collective entertainment landscape will reflect, 48 minutes at a time, the principles upon which this country and its major networks were founded.Mark my words: Freedom, equality, and justice will someday be broadcast like a beacon of hope, reaching out to the sofas of millions, transforming their viewing lives, and giving them what they really want—liberty and justice for all, 22 times a year. Then, and only then, will we be truly free.