Michael Bolton, Clash of the Choirs

NBCU Photo: Virginia Sherwood

It happened around the time Michael Bolton's spandex- and sequin-clad choir (complete with a 77-year-old "silver fox") began to wail and gyrate to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" (a performance critiqued by Nick Lachey with the words, "That's what music is all about!").

My soul began to weep.

See, it was last night that we TV fans truly felt the tragic blow of the writers' strike, as it landed in the form of the premieres of NBC's Clash of the Choirs (celebrities forming choirs to compete) and ABC's Duel (a snooze-worthy game show)—which, sorry, are just about the worst things that have ever aired in the history of television. (And pretty much the only things on last night, which is why nearly 8 million viewers tuned into each of these series.)

Host Maria Menounos called Clash of the Choirs "the biggest party of the season." As ludicrous as that sounds, our greatest fear should be this: that she is right. Most scripted TV shows have few, if any, episodes remaining, so in the next few months, we'll see a slew of bad reality programming headed our way as the networks try to fill the strike void.

How bad will it get? Well, let's just say Paradise Freaking Hotel (you remember that wretched Fox reality trash, right?) is coming back to your television, along with such gems as Baby Borrowers, Millionaire Matchmaker and Celebrity Rehab.

God help us all.

Clearly, our only hope is for some sort of strike-resolution miracle, and quick. So, what would be a good motivator to get the studios and writers back to the table, stat? How about you and I agree not to watch this inane reality and game-show "programming" the networks are trying to spoon-feed us in the hopes we won't notice that The Office and Ugly Betty are off the air? How about we allow the networks to feel the Nielsen impact of the lack of quality programming, just as we are feeling the gastrointestinal impact of Bolton's band in spandex?

It certainly couldn't hurt.

Post your thoughts below.

(And yes, I know I'm cranky. Bah, humbug.) 

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