You may be aware — and if you’re not, you are among the fortunate — that CBS’s fall lineup includes a show called “Stalker,” a procedural drama in which Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q investigate stalking cases. Creator Kevin Williamson pitches it as a show that will raise awareness of the crime of stalking, but TV critics aren’t buying it, and at the TCA session for “Stalker” yesterday, they let Williamson have it with both barrels. Reading the twitter feeds of those in attendance, especially the Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg, HitFix’s Daniel Fienberg and the A.V. Club’s Sonia Saraiya, was like watching the Hindenberg explode in 140-character bursts. (NPR’s Linda Holmes and the Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan both announced they were skipping the panel because the show disgusts them.) After rebuffing questions comparing “Stalker’s” pulpy violence to Fox’s “The Following” and suggesting that giving the show’s protagonists stalker-y tendencies make sense because “We’ve all stalked someone at some point,” Williamson eventually threw up his hands and suggested that if viewers don’t like it, they can change the channel.
However, he wasn’t done with Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff, whom Williamson fired back at in a Twitter tirade which goes a long way toward proving that “Stalker” won’t be quite the Mature Show About Issues Williamson wants to present it as.