War, what is it good for? A prime-time series, apparently. ABC has greenlit a pitch from Jerry Bruckheimer (yup, him again) and ”Cops” producer Bertram van Munster to develop a docudrama, to air as early as this summer, about U.S. soldiers on the front lines. ABC says the Pentagon is granting the gritty reality hour, ”Profiles From the Front Line,” unfettered access to war zones in Afghanistan, South America, and the Philippines. ”We are looking for great, strong stories and characters,” says ABC’s head of specials, Andrea Wong, who’s unfazed by the frontline setting.
But not everyone’s keen on ”Profiles.” Because van Munster reportedly proclaimed the series ”pro-American” and ”pro-military,” and that Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have given it a thumbs-up, some folks are crying jingoism. ”Sure the project will make for compelling television,” says Matthew Felling of the Center for Media and Public Affairs. ”But it still sounds eerily like government-sponsored programming, and that’s a concept many Americans find uncomfortable.” That, and a little show called ”According to Jim.”