Court of Revenge

Jan 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

A new court show called “Eye for an Eye,” from a first-time producer and a small indie distributor, will vie for clearances with the big boys at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference this week. The gimmick is that the winner isn’t compensated in cash or property, but rather is allowed to take some kind of revenge-as long as no one is actually hurt and no laws are broken. Producer Jerry Bryant of Dallas said the idea came to him last year after he went up against an uninsured driver in court, adding, “I felt like he should have to go through all the misery I went through.” The judge is a South Carolina personal injury attorney now known as Judge Extreme Akim. In one episode, a woman who had her tires slashed did an equal amount of damage to the plaintiff’s car. The victim of a bad perm at a beauty parlor took a clipper to the head of her beautician, who ended up bald. After a girl’s car was hit and flipped, the show sent a Hollywood stuntman to flip the other person’s car. Mr. Bryant insists his isn’t another court show: “We’re a revenge show. Would you rather watch someone win $140 on `Judge Judy’ or see a car flipped over?” Isn’t revenge a socially irresponsible lesson to teach people? “We’re not trying to make a political statement on our justice system,” Mr. Bryant replied. “We’re just trying to make people laugh.” So far, 6-month-old Atlas Worldwide Syndications and Distributions of Charleston, S.C., has cleared “Eye for an Eye” in about 25 percent of the United States, according to VP of Sales Michelle Scott, mostly on Saturday nights.