Life imitating art is one thing, but, so far anyway, Hollywood has had the good sense to know that there are times when the reverse shouldn't happen.
However, in a move that would certainly lead to some harsh viewing for surviving victims of the ongoing string of real-world sniper attacks in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., CBS is currently in production on an episode of CSI: Miami that will revolve around the show's forensics team studying the crime scenes of a serial killer whose spree includes shooting people from the top of a building.
"This is one of those bizarre cases where art collides with real life," CBS spokesman Chris Ender tells the Associated Press.
Ender says the episode of CSI: Miami, a spinoff of the network's top-rated CSI and the highest-rated new show of the season, was written last month, before the serial sniper began the attacks--which have left 10 people dead and three others critically wounded--on October 2.
And, though, at this point, the network plans the in-production installment of the David Caruso-Kim Delaney drama to air at some point, "No decision has [yet] been made on when the episode will be broadcast," Ender said.
The news comes just a week after 20th Century Fox announced it would postpone the November 15 release of the Colin Farrell-Kiefer Sutherland sniper-themed drama Phone Booth.
The Joel Schumacher-directed thriller, which also stars Dawson's Creekster Katie Holmes and Forest Whitaker, follows the tense story of a man who is trapped in the titular phone vestibule under threat by a sniper, who is also threatening random citizens with gunfire.
The $12 million flick, according to studio sources, is not likely to unspool on the big screen until next spring.
Phone Booth, by the way, marks the second time in Holmes' brief career that one of her movies has hit too close to home. Her 1999 Miramax teen drama Killing Mrs. Tingle, about a group of friends who holds a nasty teacher hostage after she flunks one of them, hit theaters--with a title change to Teaching Mrs. Tingle--after the spring 1999 Columbine High School killings.
"It's scary. I guess you play with fire in the movies sometimes [because] you just want to tell interesting stories and, unfortunately, who would have thought a crazy person in Washington would be doing this?" Holmes recently told reporters. "It bums me out that this is happening in the world. I just want them to catch the sniper. It's a scary time in America."
Meanwhile, even if the sniper topic remains taboo for now in terms of fiction, you knew it was only a matter of time before TV put the reality programming spin on things.
Toronto-based Portfolio Entertainment announced Wednesday that it will produce a biopic of criminologist Kim Rossmo, a former Vancouver beat cop who is using his expertise in the area of serial criminals to help police track down the D.C. sniper.