A Happy Moment on the Set with Ban Ki-moon and Tony Blair
The Nobel Prize award winning show, "The Peace Industry" comes back for its 19th season on September 2nd, after an almost 2 year hiatus. It is one of the longest running and most popular shows in TV history.
The pilot episode of the series premiered way back in 1991 in the exotic locale of Madrid, Spain.
FROM THE PILOT EPISODE
There were a few highly rated one-off specials set in frigid Oslo, Norway, but the show wasn't picked up for a full run until 1993.
The Nobel Award winning cast in the glory days of the series
Critics say the picture below is proof that what used to be a natural and easy going chemistry among the cast members has now become something forced and awkward.
Expectations among critics are low this season. Even New York Times gossip columnist Ethan Bronner, who's always strongly supported the Peace Industry, is expressing doubts:
...support for many of the settlements remains relatively strong in Israel. In other words, if this view holds, the Israelis have closed out any serious option of a two-state solution. So the talks are useless.
To add to the drama, some of the long running series' most prominent Palestinian cast members are threatening to leave the show for good if their demands aren't met.
Abbas, who plays Abu Mazen on the show, is reportedly insisting that the plot pick up where it left off: the cliffhanger which left the gang stranded in Annapolis, Maryland.
The angry star, Mahmoud Abbas
Critics dismiss this as an empty threat, because similar statements over the years have never been followed through on.
While interest in the series has slumped among Palestinian and Israeli audiences as of late, several key European markets seem to never tire of the same old drama.
Germany expresses her undying love of the Peace Industry:
Germany's Angela Merkel is excited
Merkel said feasible solutions to the key issues of dispute had already been drafted in earlier rounds of talks.
It was now up to the parties to demonstrate political willpower and the necessary willingness to compromise.
The Peace Industry has drawn comparisons to Law and Order because the casts of both shows have changed constantly over the years; but you never really notice the difference.
One of the most exciting new faces this year is a fresh faced youngster (and the show's historic first black character) Barack Obama. He's reportedly been heard on the set muttering to himself, "I'll succeed where all else have failed!"
"We're counting on him to add a much needed new direction to the Peace Industry," series regular, Mahmoud Abbas
There's also a spinoff of the Bill Clinton character from the 2000 season: Hillary Clinton. She'll be joining the rest of the fictional peace processors in the Quartet.
The Quartet: Not really a team of peacemakers, but they play one on tv
After a long absence, returning to the cast is everyone's favorite right wing hothead who just can't seem to do anything right: Bibi!
Bibi, in a characteristic outburst of anger
This is a controversial choice because Bibi was previously kicked off the show after a brief stint in the Peace Industry in 1999. But he's been brought back due to popular demand from Israeli fans!
The Peace Processors insist the Peace Industry will reach its long promised conclusion this year.
Having heard this promise for the last 20 years it's hard not to see the whole thing as just another tragic comedy.