Monday, May 6, 2013

Pilot Eavesdrop Breakdown Round 2 ABC Dramas

As a continuing part of my contribution to the post-pilot, pre-upfront time in the TV biz, this is the 2nd in a continuing series of posts about said pilots. this is round 2: ABC's Dramas. Round 1 can be found here and in case you're like "wtf is this" you can read an explain here or peep game on last year's ABC CBS and NBC pilot slates. 

The info below is based 100% on info i ear hustled at a lunch place near ABC studios, which also makes it 100% legit.

Drama at ABC is a treat this year. A lot of really accessible shows, none of which are called Castle. (Full disclosure, the character Castle is based off of in real life murdered my dog when I was four. Then, after years of therapy and counseling, I received a dog on my ninth birthday which he promptly murdered. So let’s just say my grudge against the fictional adaptation of that man is legitimate and not for something petty like – urrrrrrr I hate dirty blonds named after medieval architecture who also have writers block. Anyway. ABC Dramas

“Betrayal” – I think this one has some legs. It’s EP by Ice Cube and builds off the success of his two hit shows Black / White (from FX) and Are We There Yet (from TylerperryBroadcastingStation) and takes us into a heightened fictional world where we watch a first person drama unfold through the main character’s eyes (like Secret Girlfriend on Comedy Central). This character’s name: Trayal. He’s a black red-shirt freshman running back at a traditionally white school in the north east. It’s gritty, sometimes painful but it’s also really eye opening for the audience in what is widely considered to be a “post racial world.” Also, Tyler Perry plays the coach. If you can’t wait to Be Trayal, it shouldn’t be that much longer before they post the pilot online to watch as it’s “in the can” (an insider’s terminology indicating that, much like a soda, this thing is in a can waiting to be opened and effervesce. Just don’t shake it! LoL!!)

“Big Thunder” – this show seems outrageous. In a world where the Washington redskins and the Cleveland Indians are ridiculed for their caricaturish names and mascots on the grounds that they are racist and then Big Thunder comes along and makes them all seem tame. For those outside the know, this is a drama that takes place on an indian reservation in the desert that is losing money badly after their permit for a casino was denied. So, like any good Indians they decide to save the reservation. By stripping. But to set themselves apart from the other, better looking, better dancing native American strip troupes they decide to give the audience what they want: the big thunder. So, elevator pitch: Indian male strippers with hearts of gold.

“Doubt” – May 6 2013, write down the date because I’m predicting today that by September when this show becomes a hit, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale break up. To wit: because of this show (which Gavin is writing / EP). Basically it’s a show about a quirky rich lady who pays for friends to sit around and chat ala Real Housewives but they turn on her and start dissecting her stories only to discover they’re baseless lies because in reality she’s an agoraphobe.

“Gothica” – inside america’s first and only Goth prison riot. The first because goths weren’t a thing until the 90’s. the only because it’s still going on right now and so to save analytical space the prison riot record keeping office just folds all goth prison riots into the same file. It’s a riot of the week show, but super dark. I mean double super dark. Because goths.

“Influence” – this show is hard to explain. It’s one part drinking game, one part medical show and one part language learning. If you consider that carefully you’ll notice you just got three puns for the price of one (influence, influenza, in fluent).  Loud thunderous applause notwithstanding, this show doesn’t know what it is and that’s what will make it a big hit. There are so many access points (industry terminology for points of access) to this show that literally anyone can watch.

“Killer Women” – this drama is serious. A tunnel collapse traps an entire train full of women on their way to a nunnery in pre-WW2 Belgium. But when the lights are restored, one of them is dead. The murderer(s) are trapped with them and if they don’t figure it out before the end of the 6th season (or in the movie), they’ll all be dead! Or trapped forever. Or there’s a smoke monster? Wrong! The ugly one did it. it’s like desperate-er housewives but with no dudes. No dudes at all. Just kidding. Sacha Baron Cohen is there as their eunuch caretaker.

“Lucky 7” – this one is adapted from an Israeli format (format is what they call television programs in Israel) of the same name. it’s about a magician who’s also a slot machine addict but it’s okay because sometimes he wins but even if he never wins, it’s penny slots and he invented the seven sided die. It’s a small show, kinda confined to the slot machine but he has esoteric dialogues with people at the neighboring machines which are ripped from the headlines, but ultimately it’s just some talky bullshit and every once in awhile he enters a slot machine tournament which is kind of exciting, but this show is kind of boring because how many slot machine tournaments can we watch before getting bored?

“Murder in Manhattan” – in a strange twist of fate, this one is exactly what it sounds like it will be just judging by the title alone. Which is of course a Prison drama centered around a quirky yet lovable special needs inmate lovingly referred to as “Murderin’ Man hat in,” on account of all the people he murdered by slicing open their abdomens and shoving their fedoras into the hole where the guts used to be because he listened to an Eminem record forward but at slow speed and that’s when the beat is morse code for “murder a bunch of people by slicing open their abdomens and then shove their fedoras into the hole where the guts should be, also buy coca cola.” The show will be cool because it is sponsored by coca cola.

“Reckless” – the story of a guy who gets in literally no car accidents even tho he drives a ton. He’s a meth-smoking truck driver from middle American who literally never gets into car accidents. I think this show will be huge because if there’s one thing dumbfucks from not LA or NYC like to do it’s watch other dumbfucks who don’t live in the only two cities that matter do their dumbfucking jobs like idiots because that’s literally all they know. so they’ll be all like “shuckie darn looka that tee vee program. That’s me! hyuck hyuck!” and then boom. 2 and a half men. This show will be a big HIT even tho he will never HIT anything with his truck, except a safe speed limit!

“The Returned” – another retail store drama coming out of the chick factory over at ABC. OY. like anyone wants to watch a bunch of waify actresses try and come of age despite their painfully menial job working the returns counter at Macy’s in Duluth. So what if it’s the flagship location of Macy’s? So WHAT, I said. This show has bore-fest all over it UNLESS they get macy’s to sponsor it, then it’ll be pretty cool.

“Carvel’s Agents of SHIELD” – It’s about time someone adapted the most dominant and well-known ice-cream cake characters into a tv show! THIS is brand fusion, people (brand fusion is an industry term about fusing brands)(together. you take one brand and you take another brand and you fuse them together.) I can’t wait to see Big Sammy Thick Shake, Fudgy the Whale and Cookie Puss try and save all the kids in the world from BORING cakes! I’m totally IN on this. like. literally I’m in on this. I have like 3 shares of stock in Carvel and I wrote a letter to the last gathering of shareholders (“Dear everyone else who owns shares in Carvel, howcome we don’t, like, have, like, more stuff on television!”)

“Westside” – there’s comedy, there’s drama and then there’s the third genre, which westside is INVENTING right before your very eyes here on ABC this fall. This show is revolutionary and is guaranteed a full season order (industry term for when tv shows order a whole full season) any day now. what’s it about? What’s this “third genre” I’ve been talking about? TUPAC. That’s right. This show is about Tupac and his love for the west side. You will not laugh because it is not comedy. You will not have a vested interest in the overcoming of a problem related to the central character because it is not a drama. You WILL, however, have pride in the west side because this show is a TUPAC. Sup now? yeah, I thought so. Also this show is sponsored by macy’s so it will be cool.

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