How important is the new police-musical "Cop Rock" to ABC?
So important that the network has whipped up a half-hour special tonight in hopes of getting "Twin Peaks" fans interested in "Cop Rock."
"Twin Peaks & Cop Rock: Behind the Scenes," which airs at 9:30 tonight on WJZ-TV (Channel 13), will feature interviews with David Lynch and Mark Frost, the creators of "Twin Peaks," as well as stars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Peggy Lipton and Catherine Caulson (the Log Lady).
The second half of the show will feature interviews with Steven Bochco, the creator of "Cop Rock," as well as stars Barbara Bosson and Ronnie Cox.
It's a new kind of network spin doctoring -- aimed at trying to assure that viewers' first impression of the show comes from ABC, not from television critics. It seems like a pretty smart idea.
"Cop Rock" has been described as "Hill Street Blues" done as a pop/rock musical. That's not a bad description. Viewers who are comfortable with the stage musical format should not have much trouble with the show. But ABC needs a much larger audience than that for even moderate ratings success.
Robert Iger, the president of ABC Entertainment, said that "Cop Rock" was not going to be an easy sell because it is a new television form. Iger said the network wanted to try and find a way to educate viewers to "Cop Rock." Tonight's special is part of that process. "Cop Rock" will debut Sept. 26.