Jerome Weeks, who used to be the book critic for the Dallas Morning News before losing faith in the paper and quitting, now has a wonderful book blog and is "in development" for a book-based television show. It sounds like it's pretty much been shelved, but this interview with Weeks has an interesting passage...
"The inspiration came partly from frustration over the less than zero that commercial radio and cable TV do with arts and literature in America -- compared to European media. You can target educated, affluent viewers, but once channels like A&E and Bravo get bought by bigger media companies, they start aiming for the same wide, illiterate, American Idol audience everyone else does. You could probably make money with such a book show, but for the media guys, it'll never be enough money."
To be honest, I suspect that asking American television to devote serious time to promoting reading is like asking a shark to do what it can to help out the surfers.
Also, should the networks really care about us bookworms? Isn't the truth that those of us who just aren't a target audience are basically irrelevant? I mean, to be honest, I almost never go shopping. The other day, I was wearing five-year old jeans and an Eraserhead tee-shirt that I bought 17 years ago; I'm really not who these people want to target! But I sort of like irrelevance. I sometimes think to myself how little I would really like this blog if it had more readers. There's something relaxing about not having 36 idiotic comments to sort through in order to hear from Greg, Hiromi, Jen, Patrick, Sock Puppet, and the few other regulars. And if the culture at large is enamored with a shit-for-brains sensibility anyway, shouldn't we perhaps give up on it altogether?