It's never a good sign when a network shows TV critics clips of a new drama series -- and the critics burst out laughing. That's what happened when The CW previewed "Beauty and the Beast."
It's not a good sign when the first question asked of the "Beauty and the Beast" producers was, "Traditionally, in this fairy tale, the core of it is the Beauty needing to overcome the aesthetic disadvantages of the Beast. If you have a story in which the beast looks like Jay Ryan with a very small scar on his cheek, are you losing something crucial to this story?"
Accompanied by more laughter. Because Ryan is, indeed, the traditional CW hunk.
As terrible as all that sounds, the show turned out even worse. Bad writing. Bad acting. Bad premise.
It's the worst show on The CW. And that's saying something for a network that airs "Gossip Girl," "America's Next Top Model" and "Nikita."
"Beauty and the Beast" isn't, of course, the only bad show on TV. There are plenty of those on all the networks.
Here's a list of the single worst show on each of the other four broadcast networks:
ABC: "The Bachelor" (Returns Jan. 7, at 8 p.m.): This show (and "The Bachelorette") is emotionally manipulative, fake reality. How fake? On the most recent "Bachelorette" season, words spoken by at least one of the contestants were replaced on the telecast without his knowledge.
CBS: "2 Broke Girls" (Mondays, 9 p.m.): There aren't many network-TV shows that can be described as vile, but this one definitely can. It makes "Two and a Half Men" look family-friendly.
And it's not just that "2 Broke Girls" is loud and crude in lieu of being funny; it's also replete with racial stereotypes and, yes, racist jokes.
NBC: "The Celebrity Apprentice" (returns March 3, at 9 p.m.): The entertainment value here is akin to rubber-necking a horrific car accident as minor celebrities, has-beens and never-weres scream and fight in the name of charity.
And all presided over by the slimiest operator on television -- Donald Trump.
Fox: "Family Guy" (Saturdays, 9 p.m.): There are several really bad shows to choose from at this network, but this one stands out -- 200 episodes (and counting) without ever having an original idea.
This is nothing but a collection of pop-culture references, with little or nothing in the way of plot. It's also loaded with racism, sexism, anti-Semitism in an animated show that's targeted at kids and teens.