"Want to see a television executive cringe in fear? Just mention the S-word. No, not the one that gets the FCC or the Parents Television Council all hot and bothered. I'm talking about serialized.
At last week's upfronts -- the New York meetings where the networks unveil their fall schedules -- you would have thought serialised had become the eighth word on George Carlin's list of things you can't say on television. It did not appear in any network press releases. It did not pass the lips of any network executive.
The only one to speak it aloud all week was producer Jonathan Prince, who in an imprudent moment described Cane, his new show about Miami Cuban Americans, as ''a serialised family drama'' in an interview with The Miami Herald. He hasn't been seen or heard from since, and it's rumoured that CBS publicists spirited him away to a Swedish hospital for a tongue-ectomy.