I watch a lot of tv, and I have fond memories of fall. Every fall as a kid I remember the TV Guide Fall Preview Issue, when times were simpler and there was a hell of a lot less to watch. You kinda felt like if a new show was gonna make it, it was your responsibility to watch. Shows like ‘Cheers’ started with low ratings, but because there weren’t 200 channels and internet shows and shows on your cell phone–well, networks were willing to let an audience grow.
I realize the big three networks are dinosaurs, but why are so many new network shows every year so incredibly, jaw-droppingly LAME? It can’t be lack of originality, because any studio or network head would tell you that they’re constantly looking for cutting-edge ideas and fresh faces. So all I can figure is , maybe the life of a TV executive is so busy, they don’t have time to…think up new shit. So, for all you harried industry players out there, here’s a few show ideas (with casting suggestions) you can have for free.
This can’t miss concept merges two unbeatable shows into one–once the 12 finalists on ‘American Idol’ are chosen, they are dropped off on a remote island and must find a way to survive. They must also find their own way off the island.
“Hey, Stop That! ”
A guy (maybe Chris Walken, if he’ll do episodic) goes around L.A. yelling at street people. In the pilot, he yells at that guy who wears a trashcan lid as a hat.
“The David Spade Mystery Hour”
Roundtable discussion in which scholars, philosophers and Hollywood insiders try to determine why David Spade keeps getting work.
“You Bet Your Ass!”
Game show where losers are forced into prostitution. Maybe have Saget host.
A bunch of twenty-something slackers hang out in a coffeehouse. Since the show is filmed in a real coffeehouse, the characters are too self-absorbed to talk to each other. No dialogue should keep production costs down.
The gritty reality of the dry-cleaning business. In the opener, guest star Joan Collins gives a terrific performance as a woman with a suspicious stain on her dress. Gandolfini would play the owner of the shop–maybe give him a mob background to lure ‘Sopranos’ fans.
“Don’t Try This At Home!”
Science show where host teaches kids about loose wires, oily rags and light sockets.
“That’s My Chick”
Lovable guy gets drunk and starts a bar fight with a different guy every Friday night. Tony Danza is probably available.
“America’s Next Great Surgeon”
Reality show in which 12 people with different backgrounds (auto mechanic, barista, carny) learn surgery over 12 weeks, leading to a finale in which the final two each perform a heart-lung transplant.
“CSI: Law And Order”
Merging of casts of 3 CSI series and 3 L&O series creates first network ‘super-show’ In the pilot, the thirty-seven stars just get in each other’s way as they try to solve the case of a genius mathematician (and former cop) who is also a sexual predator and serial arsonist wanted for cases in Las Vegas, Miami and New York.
At the end of each episode, an actual television writer has an epiphany about television and commits suicide.