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'Homeland Security USA' Debuts To Chilly Reception

By Ed O'Keefe

"Homeland Security USA" debuts tonight on ABC, but considering its poor reviews and negative online buzz, the network may be wishing it had delayed its launch even longer.

"Even if it's better to be safe than sorry...'Homeland' still seems a sorry excuse for a television show," writes The Washington Post's TV critic Tom Shales.

"After watching one episode, I must say, sometimes a job needs scripting (thus all the scripted cop shows)," opines New York Post TV critic Linda Stasi.

"Not particularly exciting, and it does occasionally feel like a commercial for the government agencies that helped produce it," concludes Newsday's TV critic Verne Gay.

The show's attempt at an online fan club on has already been overrun by people opposed to the show. There's also a Facebook group comprised of people who "firmly believe that this show should be taken off the air because of its intentional bias and promotion of intolerance."

As The Eye reported last month, the show will mostly feature the work of Customs and Border Protection, with some focus on the Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The show's producer vows to air a "heartening" show that "makes you feel good about these people who are doing their best to protect us.”

The show will face stiff reality competition from NBC's "Biggest Loser" and Fox's "American Idol," which returns to the time slot in two weeks. Some have suggested the show may do better in a different time slot, perhaps on the weekends where Fox's "Cops" and "America's Most Wanted" have succeeded for decades.

Regardless of the negative buzz, The Eye will watch the show tonight with an open mind and report back tomorrow here in the blog. Will you be watching? Should ABC even air the show? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
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The major problem here is that TV fans prefer unintellectual programming like "Biggest Loser" and "American Idol" where they don't have to think about what they're watching, nor do they have to figure out what the moral of the story is. It seems they'd rather see someone squirm on stage to face humiliation regarding their failure to sing the high notes, or their struggle to lose the most weight. Reality shows are passe' and I wish they'd be removed, along with the "food gluttons" who travel the world looking for the grossest, most unusual and decadent cuisine; to me, this is truly disgusting to see overweight hosts stuffing their mouths with exotic and unusual foods when so many in our own country and around the world are facing hunger. As to "Homeland Security", it is certainly relevant today and if the other ignoramous programming were taken off the air, this one could have a chance.

Posted by: poescrow | January 7, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

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