Network execs have started to comb through their fall fare, hoping to erase anything considered tasteless in light of Tuesday’s tragedy.
The pilot to CBS’ frosh drama “The Agency,” for example, includes a reference to terrorist Osama bin Laden as the mastermind of a plot to blow up Harrods department store in London.
Eye execs said Wednesday that the pilot would not air as is — if at all — next week. It’s more likely the net will sub another episode of “The Agency” as the show’s first, making a few tweaks to account for continuity issues. Promos for the series have been pulled.
“Agency” exec producer Shaun Cassidy said it’s still too soon to tell precisely what changes will have to be made.
Nonetheless, “The world’s a very different place today than it was,” he said through a spokesman. “We will have to make some adjustments.”
Industry execs are also wondering how Fox might handle its new drama “24,” which focuses on a CIA agent (Kiefer Sutherland) who has 24 hours to prevent a group of terrorists from assassinating a presidential candidate.
The pilot to “24,” which is produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV, includes the explosion of a jumbo jet, which might be deemed in poor taste considering Tuesday’s attack.
But Fox execs believe “24” focuses more on the relationship between the main character and his family than it does on any terrorism — and that the show’s assassination attempt is very different from what happened in the real world this week.
“The storyline is not at all related to the events going on right now,” a Fox source said. “We don’t see it as a problematic situation. But we’ll keep our fingers on the pulse of the country to see where we are a month from now.”
Fox has yanked all “24” promos for the time being. But the drama isn’t scheduled to debut until late October, when the nation may feel more calm.
Imagine TV topper Tony Krantz said producers were taking a “wait-and-see approach” to whether any changes will have to be made to “24,” or whether its premiere may have to be delayed.
“Everyone is acting incredibly appropriately,” Krantz said. “No judgments are being made yet.”
Beyond depictions of terrorist attacks, the webs have to be careful with any scenes of New York under siege. Fox, for example, has decided to pull its made-for “The Rats,” originally scheduled for Monday, in favor of a repeat run of “The Nutty Professor.”
“The Rats” takes place in Manhattan, as hundreds of rodents threaten to overtake the city; it’s uncertain when the telepic might hit the air.
A whole new world
Even skyline shots of New York will have to be changed now that the cityscape has been dramatically altered. NBC will edit out scenes of the World Trade Center from the opening credits of “Law & Order: SVU” and an upcoming seg of its reality skein “Lost.”
Meanwhile, production continued on the Eye’s “Big Brother 2,” though it was still unclear when CBS will air the show’s next episode.
The cousin of Monica, one of the houseguests, remained unaccounted for in New York late Wednesday. Monica has been kept up to date on the situation, said “BB2” exec producer Arnold Shapiro.
“All of us are praying for and having positive thoughts about Monica’s cousin being found alive and well,” he said.