With the Emmys over and the fall TV season getting into full swing here’s a repeat of something I wrote a few years ago. Nothing’s changed.
Summer is almost here, which means the major television networks are currently working on their fall schedules. What follows is a memo regarding new shows that one network is planning to air. How it fell into my hands is another story.
To: Scheduling Dept.
Re: Fall 2013 schedule
This network has consistently been fourth out of four among the networks in most markets, and fifth in a few, coming behind PBS. The programming heads have determined that major changes are needed for the Fall 2013 schedule. In developing new shows we’ve tried to aim for innovation, to create shows that are new, exciting, and different to appeal to the vital 18-35 demographic while also staying within established parameters so as not to alienate other demographic groups. The key is being innovative with what works. Please produce a schedule with slots for these shows we’ve developed for the coming season:
Eye See You (30mins, Reality): This is from the producers of Burn, Baby, Burn, our popular reality program in which families competed against each other in the Sierra Pelona Mountains while having to escape being burned by a giant magnifying glass. Eye See You is an exciting new reality program in which diverse contestants from all walks of life will have to perform emergency surgery. They will be provided some training prior to competing, but the real twist is they have to do it blindfolded!
Suck It (60mins, Drama): Aloysius Bernard isn’t just a vampire: he’s also a cop who’s been fighting crime as a member of the Atlantic City police force since the Civil War. Now he’s got a new partner, a tough girl rookie who grew up on the streets fighting the undead. Together they’ll have to work out their differences to solve crimes. Will she have to hide the crucifix her late grandmother gave her? Will he be able to restrain himself when she gets a paper cut? Things take an even stranger turn when these two very different cops find they may have feelings for each other.
For Richard Or Poorer (60mins, Drama): After trying and failing to save the life of a homeless man on his street recently-divorced doctor Richard Poor decides to fight hospital policy, and budget cuts, to provide medical care to the disadvantaged. It’s a heavy job, but he knows someone has to do it. With the help of his fellow doctors he just might find a way. Meanwhile he’s got to juggle a budding romance with a nurse and the faithful companionship of his pet iguana.
Too Old For This Bleep (30mins, Comedy): Five friends and veterans of the Tulsa, Oklahoma police force have been looking forward to retirement. But when a clerical error wipes out their pension funds they find themselves unable to leave the force, and training a group of unruly rookies to solve crimes. It’s a clash of generations as the old guys try to keep the kids in line while also finding out that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Cut Ups (60mins, Dramedy): Life is tough for University of Ohio med school student Alannah Hayes. Her loans have been cut, and she’s struggling to make ends meet. On top of that an uncle she only just met has just passed away and left her his Toledo comedy club. She has to sell it as quickly as possible…or does she? With her fellow students she’ll be taking gross anatomy by day and telling gross-out jokes by night, and just trying to get by in Frogtown.
Finally, while the network executives are pleased that the exciting and innovative mid-season filler, Is That You Mo Dean? (60mins, Drama), about an HIV-positive man making peace with his past and looking for love in a small Iowa town, has already been nominated for six Emmys, three Critics’ Choice Awards, a Writers’ Guild Award, a Peabody Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and even a BAFTA. Having been featured in TV Guide as “the best show you’re not watching” it is being cancelled after its third episode due to lack of viewer interest. This will leave the Tuesday night, 9PM slot free. This decision is NOT final. Executives are considering re-working the series and making the main character a retired doctor who now spends his time helping the police solve crimes.