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Open Season (1996)

Rod Taylor plays Billy Patrick in this movie about television.

Movie critic Leonard Maltin calls this a "smart, funny satire of television and our competitive society," and he praises the "fine supporting cast, including Taylor in a pungent performance as a messianic programming chief."

"Open Season" was written and directed by actor Robert Wuhl, who also has the lead role. Performed in broad farcical style, the movie imagines a situation in which the TV ratings system malfunctions and public broadcasting soars to No. 1.

Taylor's character is an egomaniacal network programming wizard who claims to draw his guidance directly from God. However, when his network gets desperate for ratings, God tells Billy to air "Debby Does Dallas" and a live Iranian execution.

A New York Times reviewer said of Taylor's character:

Billy, whom Taylor embodies with just the right tone of ludicrous self-importance, conducts fervent morning prayer sessions seeking divine guidance in creating exploitative trash. The movie's opening scene is an excerpt from his hot new show, "Kicking the Habit," an action-adventure series whose central character is touted as "the macho nun."

"Open Season" was filmed in 1993 on a $3 million budget. It was shown on the film festival circuit, then was released on video, bypassing mainstream movie houses.

 

 

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