TV STUFF: Giving Criminals Their 15 Minutes

We’ve already seen the “Survivor” contestants eating rats, so do we really want to hear the real-life confessions of career criminals? (©Court TV Online) Court TV says, “Heck yeah!”

“Confessions” will premiere Sept. 10, but in anticipation of public protest, Court TV has announced plans to air a half-hour panel discussion after the show’s debut. The panel will feature experts to analyze the psychological and ethical aspects of the confessions.

Thanks. We feel much better now.

O.J. REVISITED: In case you completely missed the Trial of the Century six years ago, CBS has graciously planned a miniseries on the whole legal fiasco.

O.J. Currently in production, “American Tragedy” will take a look at the strategies used by O.J. Simpson’s lawyers who eventually won the ex-athlete acquittal.

It will air in November, but not if Simpson has any say in the matter. His lawyers were in court this month seeking an injunction to stop the miniseries’ production. So far, they haven’t had any luck.

OFF-KEY: So what if nobody’s watching? ABC is close to ordering more episodes of “Making the Band” anyway.

The hardly watched reality show chronicles boy-band guru Lou Pearlman and his latest creation, O-Town. The show on Friday nights hasn’t posted the best numbers in the ratings and has only developed a cult following. Original episodes will continue through September.

“It’s the lowest-rated show that everybody’s watching,” one ABC executive told Daily Variety.

Tipper and Al (© DAMN THE DEBATES: Blame this one on the politicians, too. CBS announced its fall season premiere dates Monday, but don’t program your VCRs just yet. The schedule might change when the Presidential Debate Commission releases its final timetable for a series of televised debates between presidential contenders Al Gore and George W. Bush.

The network had held off its announcement, hoping the Commission would release the schedule in time, but it couldn’t wait any longer. For now, CBS will roll out its Tuesday lineup Oct. 3, its Thursday lineup Oct. 5 and its Wednesday lineup Oct. 11 — even though the debates might occur on all three nights.