"Michael Jackson Trial" [is] a daily half-hour series based on the singer's child molestation trial in Santa Maria, Calif., which began yesterday. Through the use of transcripts, the show, a collaboration of E! Entertainment Television and the satellite service British Sky Broadcasting, will try to re-enact the actions in the court, which is closed to cameras....
With the trial in its initial stages, [Edward] Moss will, for the time being, not have much to do, unless Mr. Jackson pulls something unexpected. If the defense does not put Mr. Jackson on the witness stand, then the extent of Mr. Moss's "acting" may be a cocked eyebrow here or the crinkle of a surgically altered nose there. "He'll be doing next to nothing for the first few months," Mr. Harbert conceded, "not strenuous at all until we get to the defense's presentation. Frankly, he may go through this show with not a lot to do. It could either be a huge acting job or a little one."
This seems to be a good way to deal with the lack of cameras in the courtroom. There's no way to stop the public's interest in the trial, yet keeping the cameras out makes more sense in this case than the usual case. So why not hire actors and do the transcripts? The alternative is to have on camera lawyers repeating the statements. On the other hand, I like seeing the courtroom artists' drawings, but surely these will be there to see on the many other cable channels that will be following the trial.
Did I set the TiVo for that E! show? I wavered. First, of course. Next, I don't have time and I dislike the way actors try to seem like lawyers. Finally, yeah -- why not? -- if it's bad, I'll blog about how it's bad.