The first prime-time dramatic special of the new TV season turns out not to have been produced for prime time at all.
"The Drug Knot," airing at 8 tonight on Channels 2 and 8, was made as a "CBS Schoolbreak Special" for a weekday afternoon slot on the network, but with growing attention being paid to the national drug problem, CBS moved it to a more visible time period.
Good idea. The hourlong program, which incorporates a pair of lectures by ex-policeman and ex-addict David Toma, delivers a strong anti-drug message.
Dramatically, one could quibble with the method of delivery: The story about a teen-age drug user is heavy-handed and severely compressed, and the fervor and intensity that Toma undoubtedly conveys in person are diminished here by editing and story interruptions.
Still, his point gets across, and that's what counts.
"You're not cool when you do that stuff," Toma tells a group of high school students. "You're a fool, you're dumb and you're destroying yourselves."
And to their alcohol-imbibing parents he says, "What the hell do you expect from your kids? You're doing the same damn thing they're doing!"
Among the various solutions that Toma recommends--which range from getting professional help where necessary to simply being more loving--is that families turn off the TV set and start talking about what's going on in their lives.
After this program might be a good time to start.
"The Drug Knot" was written by David Villaire, directed by Anson Williams and produced by Arnold Shapiro and Jean O'Neill for CBS Entertainment. Dermot Mulroney stars as the student with the drug problem, Tracy Nelson plays his girlfriend and Mary Ellen Trainor and Lawrence Pressman portray his parents.