March 26, 2013

Today comes news that Bill O’Reilly’s upcoming book with Martin Dugard, “Killing Jesus,” will have a life on cable TV, via the National Geographic Network. The channel scored 3.4 million viewers with “Killing Lincoln,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, and is working on a production of the other O’Reilly-Dugard collaboration, “Killing Kennedy.”

A close reader of the “Killing” series, the Erik Wemple Blog implores O’Reilly-Dugard to abandon their chief narrative device for the Jesus installment. Here’s that device, in generic terms: “On [insert date], [historical figure about to be killed] did this and that and the other thing. Little did he realize that it would be the last time he did this and that and the other thing.”

Quibbles aside, O’Reilly may be doing the literary world a favor here. He has said “Killing Jesus” will be an epic opus, and given the commercial success of its two precursors, who’s to gainsay him? Maybe “Killing” will convince cable hosts everywhere that there’s really no reason to recycle the same viewpoints in their books that they blow-bag onto the cable airwaves every night or day or weekend or all three.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.