Four ideas for new TV shows
How about 'Scrubbing Bubbles' – essentially 'The Simpsons' in an aerosol can?
From: Bud Williamson, Creative Director
To: Everyone in Story Development
Re: Finalizing the proposal
GUYS, ALL OF YOU, Charlie, Hal, Jay, Everett, and Larry, you all need to read this ASAP. Things are going to start moving real fast, real soon.
Regardless of what happens with the TV series "Cavemen" on ABC, I'm positive we can get our own hit, but the window of opportunity won't stay open forever. I just got off the phone with my contact at one of the other networks, and they want a meeting with us next Friday. Bingo!
I've looked over the ideas you came up with, all of which were great, by the way, and I've narrowed them down. Here's my short list of what I think we should run with. Prepare your own feedback and let's have a final brainstorming session tomorrow in the conference room to finalize the best pitch for each one. This is for all the marbles. Our motto should be "Look out, Cavemen, make way for ..."
TWINS: There's a lot of flexibility with the plot here because those Doublemint ads were always so vague. Everyone just wandered around chewing. Definitely see this as youth-oriented, suburban setting. Characters enjoy pleasure, also want to double their pleasure, and their fun. Heavy on the visuals, plenty of scenes by the pool, or at the beach. I'm thinking "Melrose Place" with lots and lots of gum.
MAYTAG MAN: We need to make a decision: Is this guy all about action or intellect? I know you guys love "24," but I'm not sure "Jack Bauer meets home appliances" can hold an audience. I'm thinking a "Kung-Fu" approach is better. Remember Caine, walking the earth, seeking enlightenment while confronting injustice? Reinvent him in the 21st century, on a quest, sharing the emotional turmoil of a different laundry-challenged family each week. Think flashbacks – his youth, the early obsession with technology, years of training at washer repair school, and always this question: Why? What deep secret fuels his unending desire to fix what's wrong in the lives of everyday Americans?
FRUITS: Very risky. Could be a bomb or blockbuster. No need to antagonize the lawyers at Fruit of the Loom, so forget any undergarment jokes. Might even want to create a new back story for the team. Could be superheroes like the X-Men, or aliens, but each has a special power. To me this is science fiction all the way. With a light touch. I would not object to a laugh track. Also, the title could be dicey. What about "Loomies" or "Loomsters?" Think about it.
SCRUBBING BUBBLES: Animated? " 'The Simpsons' in an aerosol can?" No way, guys. This has to be live action. Real actors, real faces the viewers will care about. It can work, trust me. Yes, I know they're traveling around on bathroom tiles and inside scummy drainpipes. No worries. I've talked to the special-effects people from the Matrix films and they said "piece of cake." Casting will make or break this one. Get John Goodman or Brad Garrett as the lead bubble, and we can start engraving the Emmy right now.
• Jeffrey Shaffer writes humor from Portland, Ore.