The last thing I ever intended to do is bring anything resembling politics into this column.

To my mind, a page labeled with the word "Enjoy" isn't where you'd want to read about politics, which is really only enjoyable when A) it involves making jokes at the expense of someone else or B) you've had way too much to drink.

However, I feel compelled to bring up the subject of "The Reagans," the mini-series which CBS had planned to air this weekend but scrapped due to pressure from conservatives who were angered by Reagan's portrayal in the film.

The controversy stemmed from accounts that the film didn't paint a flattering - or historically accurate - picture of The Great Jellybeaneater.

To be honest, I didn't really care one way or another. Historically accurate or not, I had no interest in watching it.

But what fascinates me here was how quickly CBS capitulated to political pressure and yanked the film from its schedule. After all of the hoopla surrounding it, it would have been a ratings bonanza for the network. You couldn't buy that kind of publicity for a TV movie, especially during the sweeps period.

All eyes would have been on it to see how it turned out. It would have been huge!

My point here is this - we have a major election coming up next year and I haven't formed any kind of firm opinion as to who I'd cast my vote for. Actually, I had been pretty set as to who I wasn't going to vote for, but this whole "Reagans" thing has made me think again. If politics can remove a program from the air, can politics put something back on?

So, to all the 2004 presidential hopefuls out there, I have a proposition for you.

If you want my vote next November, I have one small favor that I'd like in return.

I want some more "Skin."

Yes, I'll admit it. I was one of the few people who tuned in to FOX's sleazy, modern spin on "Romeo and Juliet." (For TV viewers like me who have no interest in watching sweaty dudes running around with a football on Monday nights, our options are pretty limited.)

But FOX pulled the program from their schedule after three low-rated episodes. Apparently, the audience had dwindled to the point where only 4 million people tuned in for the third week's episode.

The set-up for the show was pretty simple: Eric Rome (as in Romeo, get it?), the son of L.A.'s ruthless district attorney, falls hard for Jewel (as in Juliet, get it?) Goldman, daughter of the major smut peddler.

As the two teens fall in love, their parents become locked in a power struggle, with the D.A. vowing to bring down the porn king, and the porn king vowing to ruin the D.A.'s chances for re-election.

Sure, it was bit on the trashy side, but no more so than your typical afternoon soap opera or the news coverage on the FOX News Channel.

So if you want my vote, that's it.

All I ask is a bit of that political pressure applied to ensure a return of "Skin" to FOX's Monday evening lineup and a commitment for four complete seasons of episodes while you're in office.

(Please note: A lifetime of votes is also up for grabs, should any political party be interested. I will faithfully vote as long as I'm able for whichever party can pressure NBC into bringing "Seinfeld" or "Cheers" back for another 10 seasons.)

Address correspondence to Scott Meeker, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, Mo. 64802.

This Week's Circulars