Clinton steps upfront for TV Land


President Clinton revealed himself to be a devoted viewer of TV Land at the network's upfront presentation.

Clinton said Friday that he enjoys "All in the Family," "I Love Lucy" and "The Andy Griffith Show" and is catching up on "Bonanza" at night while trying to write a book on citizen activism.

"As you know, my wife is away, so I'm home alone a lot," Clinton said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. "I'm particularly grateful to TV Land for giving me something to do at night."

Clinton was the guest star of the network's upfront presentation, which was light on the typical advertising sales talk and heavy on Clinton speaking about his interests, including global warming, hurricane and tsunami relief and AIDS and childhood obesity.

Clinton's speech, and a brief Q&A with TV Land president Larry Jones, packed the Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center in the Time Warner Building.

He had been invited by TV Land to speak to the channel's move to become a network for the aging baby boomers. Clinton was passionate about that generation's activism and causes.

"I think on balance the baby boomers have done well and done well for the country and the world," Clinton said. He spoke fondly of President George H.W. Bush, assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

The network also announced several new series, including "Back to the Grind," a half-hour series that will bring such classic-TV actors as Harry Anderson and Loni Anderson to the real-life jobs of their characters; "35 and Beyond Super Model Search," a model competition where the women are 35 and older; and "The Story Of …," a pilot in development that will look at topics in pop culture.

But Jones said TV Land is more than just classic TV and its burgeoning original series slate. A movie night will begin on Fridays in early April, and the network acquired "Scrubs" and "Just Shoot Me."

Fielding written queries from ad buyers, Clinton played TV critic, saying he loves watching baseball and football on television and picked ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" as his favorite show.

"And even though an uber right-wing guy writes it, '24,' " said Clinton, who added that he enjoys the fact that conservatives and liberals alike can be the bad guys in the show.

"They're trying to be fair," Clinton said.

And he appreciates "Boston Legal" for the dynamic between William Shatner and James Spader. "It's something to behold," he said.