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by Jerome Weeks 30 Jan 2008

The single reader who has followed my book/daddy blog and even the senior citizens who recall my book columns for The Dallas Morning News, will remember that I have argued for the viability of a book show. Commercial broadcast TV and cable TV do not seem eager to  recognize the simple genius of my proposal  (or at least my […]

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Peanuts’ Linus watches television

The single reader who has followed my book/daddy blog and even the senior citizens who recall my book columns for The Dallas Morning News, will remember that I have argued for the viability of a book show. Commercial broadcast TV and cable TV do not seem eager to  recognize the simple genius of my proposal  (or at least my non-presence at the Four Seasons in New York for power lunches with them), so I figure a do-it-yourself webcam show, sort of a bookish Jon Stewart-Meets-YouTube, might work.

Right. I’ll get around to it as soon as I’m done getting my daughter into college. And graduated. With a job.

But now, former Random House editor-in-chief and former New Yorker editor Daniel Menaker  — a man who surely has been to the Four Seasons a few times — has teamed up with a pair of documentary filmmakers to develop Titlepage, which will begin streaming online March 3. Here’s hoping it works.

The program sounds, though, as if it’ll just be The Charlie Rose Show with more people around the table droning about books and the famous authors they know. That’ll be, um, exciting. And a historic break from all other book programming. Mercifully for him, this means Mr. Menaker is safe from the wrath of my copyright lawyers. The essence of my pitch remains: cut some of the fake news stuff at the beginning of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert but keep the amusing interviews. Have fun with it. Ditch the ponderous Rose stuff. Hey, Dick Cavett did it. And Stewart and Colbert have been offering more author interviews than almost any other televised outlets in America.

One iteration of my plan can be found here — scroll to the end of the interview.

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