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Come Tuesday night, a large part of America will be watching Super Tuesday results.

That may be your cup of tea, which is understandable. The theater of politics has surpassed the abilities of even the best script writer.

As for other mainstream viewing options, well, who needs script writers anymore?

In a time when many of us long for the "good ol' days" of a slower pace and graceful interactions, is it welcome knowledge that there are no new ideas anymore?

Later this year on the big screen, we're going to get Chapter 9 of the "Fast and the Furious," "Indiana Jones 7", "Ghostbusters 5.0," a third installment of "Bad Boys" and a "Top Gun" sequel that could be viewed by Navy fighter pilots who were not born when the first "Top Gun" was released.

Sports in general and football in particular have become the most important piece of almost any TV programming calendar. The reason is simple. In this day and age of streaming and DVRs, numbers show more people watch sports in real time — commercials and all — than any other genre.

You have to do that in the instant information age, because no one wants to watch LeBron, Tiger or the Dallas Cowboys when you already know the outcome. Heck, it's so important that CBS is reportedly going to pay Tony Romo almost twice as much money ($17 million per year) to analyze quarterbacks than the Cowboys paid Romo to play quarterback ($9 million per season).

As the major networks try to stave off the cable content generators, the streaming access anglers and the online eyeball vacuums, "reality" in the sports arena is never more in demand.

And like the movies, everything that was old is new again.

You can't turn on a TV without Steve Harvey hosting "Family Feud" or some other game show sliding before you. It's close to reality and satisfies our need to laugh at others and watch people win money.

There are so many singing shows out there that you can't sling a Lauren Alaina without finding one. The latest rage is something called "The Masked Singer," which is feels like a hair-brained scheme from three writers on a weekend bender as they binge-watched "The Gong Show" and "To Tell the Truth" reruns.

Maybe you recognize "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" as their former selves known as "The Dating Game" or "Love Connection."

And now, in the grandest of throwbacks to the 1970s hype machine when ABC, CBS and NBC had the world by the retinas, comes Wednesday's "Volcano Live with Nik Wallenda." And yes, it's almost exactly as it sounds.

First, the name Wallenda evokes the lineage of high-wire walkers just like Barnum screams circus and Firestone screams rubber.

Apparently Wallenda is going to walk across Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua on an inch-thick tightrope. The trip will cover some 1,300 feet and be 600 yards above the active lava lake.

And this walk will take two hours on primetime. Allegedly.

Hey, I get it. If your name is Wallenda, it's not like you can live up to the family name and work at Home Depot. Evil Knievel Jr. was not peddling State Farm anywhere.

Sometimes the family business is all you know.

If I had to guess, ol' Nik will have some sort of harness on because while Momma Wallenda raised a tightrope walker, she certainly did not raise a fool.

Who knows? Here's hoping that we never have to see the worst-case part of our everyday reality in prime time.

Because, then what's the next frontier after that, remakes of a live-action Punky Brewster?

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

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Jay Greeson

 

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