- Eric Schaeffer (STARVED, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M STILL SINGLE) has sold his comedy series, ERIC SCHAEFFER: LIFE COACH? to the new My Damn Channel Comedy Network, whatever the hell that is. (We think it’s a web channel. Find out more here.)
- Jeffrey Toobin’s book, The Run of His Life, about the O.J. Simpson trial, has been sold to Fox. No word on whether it’ll be made into a series, a special, or a TV movie. (Whatever it is, we’ll be interested in seeing if anybody watches…cuz it seems to us that there can’t be too many people still alive who remember the Juice. This is old, people!)
- Tommy Wirkola (HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS) has created a half-hour comedy for Showtime based on his Norwegian series, HELLFJORD. (Ah, showbiz life, just one success after another, eh, Tommy? Oh, wait…)
- Melissa Carter (JANE BY DESIGN) is writing a dramedy called HOT PROPERTY, based on a book by Michele, Sabrina and Samantha Kleier, for ABC Family. (The writers of the book are the stars of HGTV’s reality series, SELLING NEW YORK, which of course means that everybody else is dying to be in business with ’em. “They’re stars!” we tells ya. “Stars!”)
by Theresa Wiza
Ever since I first watched The Dick Van Dyke Show, I have wanted to write for television. I wanted to be part of a team that would mold the characters everyone else would either love or hate. I wanted the camaraderie of writing buddies. I wanted to recline on couches or walk around the office drinking coffee and brainstorming sensational ideas. I wanted to create at least one television show that would result in phenomenal success.
But I didn’t. Instead I raised a family and worked at a variety of places performing numerous – sometimes mundane – other times interesting – tasks, where I contributed my talents to everything from ad design to cocktail waitressing. Wait. I had absolutely no talent for cocktail waitressing.
But I could have written for television. “I could have been a contender.” But maybe I’m just good with concepts. Does Hollywood buy concepts?
Well, Hollywood, here are the top 4 television programs I would have created if only I had known how to move them from my mind to the screen:
(Before I list them, I must explain my spelling on this first one. I was once reprimanded by Google for mentioning certain body parts, so in accordance with Google’s rules, I will exchange the first vowels in each “threatening” word with symbols. Apparently mentioning certain body parts classifies one as a sexual deviant. Case in point: Little Boys Love Their Urinators, previously written as Little Boys Love Their P^nises) – you can read it, if you like, to find out what a deviant I am.
Anyway, here are the NEW TV SHOWS NOT YET MADE:
Four P^nises and a V^gina
Imagine the pitfalls of a married mother raising three boys. Her very tall husband barely hits the toilet and doesn’t really care anyway because he never has to clean it. Her teenage son sulks through numerous puberty situations, her toddler son thinks his penis is a weapon, and the baby loves watching his toddler brother.
Next door to Four P^nises and a V^gina live Four V^ginas and a P^nis – a couple with three teenage girls (teenage son from next door is in love with all of them) whose home has become a common refuge for the next door neighbor mom who LOVES their clean fresh bathroom and yearns for escape from her male dominated home while husband of Four V^ginas sneaks next door for some male bonding.
Hiss and Growl
This animated cat and dog show points out our human frailties, prejudices, stupid ideas, and more, as different breeds of cats and dogs with amazingly human characteristics interact with other cats and dogs.
“I HATE Michelle Dogama!”
“Why? What has Michelle Dogama ever done to you?”
“Nothing. I just hate her. HATE HER! DO YOU HEAR ME? I ABSOLUTELY HATE HER!”
“OK! I get it! But what about her do you hate?”
“You can’t just throw a blanket over her to cover everything. Be specific.”
“The way she talks, the way she looks, the way she dresses, EVERYTHING!”
“I think she speaks very well, looks very classy, and dresses quite elegantly.”
“Well, yeah, you would, you Dogamat!”
These Are Your Lives
Viewers become unwilling participants just by accidentally tuning in (some people just can’t help themselves) to These Are Your Lives where they find themselves spiritually transported onto the set of a show that is always in progress. The host and other members of the viewing audience examine the past lives of contestants to explain why viewers are wrestling with their current situations. As their bodies remain in their homes they are aghast when they realize that they have accidentally tuned in to the only program they were warned to avoid!
The show addresses all kinds of problems. Here is one of them:
“I don’t want to be here.”
“But you tuned in.”
“It was an accident! I didn’t mean to land on your channel!” (crying now)
“But you did. And now you’re here.”
“Well, isn’t it obvious? The reason you are fat in this life is because you made fun of fat people in your last life. Here. Watch yourself.”
The screen shows the contestant at various stages in her life making fun of fat people. Her body is obviously different on the screen and she, quite naturally, has no memory of her past life.
(still crying) “That is NOT me. I would NEVER say anything like that.”
“Yes, folks, the common thread that unites all of our contestants is denial, denial, denial.”
And what do contestants win? An opportunity to have their past lives examined and the chance to be on TV, of course!
(I won a Reader’s Digest contest with the logline for this one – my award? – Larry Brody’s book, Television Writing from the Inside Out!)
In Character, a spinoff of various television programs, brings actors together who remain “in character” from their different sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows while interacting with a three-generation family of “characters.”
Imagine all of your favorite actors from all of your favorite programs coming together week after week in one new offbeat comedy where they remain “in character” from their previous sitcom. In Character is a sitcom about an eccentric but young ex-hippie grandmother, a creative attractive ad-copy mother, and a trying-to-find himself college-age son, who daily interact with characters who remain “in character” of the sitcom from which they come. Audiences watch their favorite actors from a variety of programs, perform together in an offbeat comedy where, week after week, different characters work together In Character. I even wrote the pilot for this one. Oh, well.
And that, my dear readers, is my contribution to the new generation of TV shows that are not yet made – and probably never will be – in my lifetime anyway. Having said that, I would LOVE for somebody – anybody – reading this to prove me wrong. 🙂
We don’t know David Marko, but we want to. And we think that after you read this you will too:
by David Marko
I’ve kept this secret for a long time. It’s more of an embarrassment than a secret, I suppose, shameful to me and to my beloved profession. Creative executives in every medium get a bad rap because a few bad apples spoil the barrel. I didn’t want my stink added to the stench.
I wanted to be a good apple.
Ten years ago, I was hired as a longform executive at a broadcast network, the last one to have a dedicated movie night. MOWs were an endangered species, and I should’ve already switched careers. Optometry, maybe, or mortuary science. Instead, I accepted a contract to be a coal stoker on the Lusitania. Here’s why:
I love MOWs, and it isn’t some kinky S&M trip. It’s impossible to explain except that I kept shoveling coal despite calls to abandon my beloved format as she sank to her final resting place.
My wife and I also had our first baby on the way.
On my first day, my new boss gave me a new project to supervise. Iconic American Biopic, a warts-and-all life story of a beloved household name.
Tough movie to cast, I thought. Who’d want to be compared to the real thing?
“It’s a rush job,” said the boss. An award-winning producer was producing, an award-winning writer was writing, and an award-winning TV star was interested, if it was ready by hiatus. “First meeting’s Friday,” said my boss. “Process their ideas, bullet point the negatives, and commence to first draft.”
On my way out, I asked the boss’s friendly assistant if there was a pitch memo or source material to help me prepare.
“Nope,” he said.
There wasn’t much to do until the meeting. I skimmed a paperback biography onIconic American, and spent my first week drumming up new projects.
Friday, 4 PM. The producer was on speaker, and his development exec, the writer, and the studio exec sat in my office. We small-talked about my newborn daughter and sleepless nights. I knew them all by reputation. They made a good first impression.
I wanted to make a good first impression too.
The chit-chat faded. Suddenly, like a magic trick, everyone had a script.
I could see scribbled notes and dog-eared pages.
Where the hell did they get scripts?
I started to sweat. They looked at me expectantly, pens poised to write down my notes I didn’t have on a script I didn’t read because until then, I didn’t know it existed. I should have known, but I didn’t.
I nearly blurted out the truth. The baby, the sleepless nights, my first week at the network. They would understand. But first impression-wise? It would be a bad one. My new boss would hear about it, and that would be bad too. The writer would talk: “Douchebag schedules a notes meeting, and he hasn’t even read the script! He’s the reason TV movies are dying!”
Keep going. You don’t want to miss the punchline.
Sorry, but there’s only one show we care about on The CW. (And that not very much.)
Wednesday, May 15
8 p.m. Arrow (CW)