War Stories From the Front Lines

Despite its critics, Schotz said, "the military has been great at giving [the show] access," and allowing the show to air segments that get at the heart of the Iraq experience for many American servicemen and women.

Featuring such episodes as a hilarious rap video and a dance montage set to a Billy Idol's hit "Dancing With Myself," as well as terrifying firefights and disorienting dust storms, "My War Diary" speaks to the polarized nature of life in a war zone.

One of the most memorable clips the show received was from a soldier who attached a small camera to his shoulder so he could show his wife at home what was going on.

In the midst of a routine walk-through, the soldier's platoon came under fire. The camera captured everything from the ear-splitting sound of the bullets whizzing through the air to his fellow soldiers taking cover from their attacker behind a wall to the eventual capture of the attacker and the discovery of a sizable weapons cache.

Other episodes, such as the remake of the music video "Hey Ya!" by the crew of the USS Lincoln and a rap called "Lazy Ramadi," performed by two soldiers stationed in that volatile city, aim to entertain their families and their fellow soldiers as well as bring their companies and platoons together through laughter.

In the end, Schotz characterized "My War Diary" as a cross between YouTube and the nightly news.

He hopes "My War Diary" will lead the way in creating a new genre of television show.

"I think there's a place for a new kind of news that you see every day," he said. "You have to have the CNNs, the ABCs, the NBCs out covering this war showing things, questioning and doing all those things that they're supposed to do. But I think there's a place for a program like this that can come along and say, 'Hey, here's my point of view.'"

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