The premise is simple: The Pox Television Network’s Music Industry Boxing will match agents against promoters, managers against tour producers and record labels against Silicon Valley in what should be the bloodiest display of carnage since When Groupies Attack aired late last year.
“Just think of it,” exclaimed the show’s producer, Larsen E. Whipsnade, during the weigh-in where the agents for Wilco and Tanya Donelly exchanged insults with regional promoters and security had to physically restrain the RIAA’s Hilary “Sledgehammer” Rosen from scratching out the eyes of Shawn “Napster” Fanning. “They put on the gloves, the bell rings, and they come out swinging! This is television at its finest!”
Maybe so. However, the program does have its detractors. Not only are critics lamenting the excessive violence and gore expected when booking agents and promoters go toe-to-toe over the box office percentages for Nickel Creek and The Mission U.K., but the PTA is raising concerns over the program’s “everything goes” format, claiming that all the nose-twisting and hair-pulling might leave psychological scars on young fans of Dokken. Then there’s those “celebrity matches,” that threaten to raise the bar on how much violence is acceptable on network television, with many asking if America is ready to see Elton John or Britney Spears pummel their opponents into submission.
“Sure it’s violent,” explains Whipsnade. “But you can’t book tours for Dick Dale, David Grisman Quintet and 112 without spilling a little blood. Besides, our research proves that this is what the American TV audience wants to see. They want to experience the left hook to the jaw, taste the right uppercuts to the face and see the spilled teeth on the canvas that ultimately determine the routings for P.O.D. and Legendary Pink Dots. They want to smell the glove!”
Will audiences watch? Will Music Industry Boxing be the ratings smash that Pox Network execs are predicting? Or will it fade away into oblivion along with past “reality” programming, such as Who Wants To Marry A Concert Promoter?, or the surreal Brunch With Mike Tyson? Furthermore, is the spectacle of music industry execs duking it out over the royalties for Neil Halstead or the appearance fees for The Flower Kings and Gaza Strippers really all that different then what normally passes for a typical day in the music industry?
“Of course, it’s different,” exclaims an obviously perturbed Whipsnade. “First of all, they’ll all be wearing gloves. And secondly, it’s gonna be on TV!”