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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fuh-gedda-bout-it, Inc.


When you’re retired, and living on a fixed income, you’re always looking for an angle to make a few more bucks. Carolyn and I have stumbled on what we think is the perfect scam—er, um, opportunity—to get someone to pay us for our unique talent.

We discovered this talent during a conversation about the cancellation of the television show Harry’s Law. I, and my partner in crime-writing and co-parent of the world’s thickest dinky dogs, loved this show. Kathy Bates played an irascible, rude, brilliant, and funny lawyer named Harry Corn, who walked away from big money doing civil litigation to assemble a legal firm stacked with misfits, head cases, and windmill tilters who took on lost causes and bizarre legal challenges. CJ and I found the show thought-provoking, dramatic, and often laugh-out-loud hilarious. So, of course, NBC gave it the axe.

After sifting through our past, we discovered a common thread. Most of the television shows we thought were high quality and worth setting time aside to watch never saw the light of season two.

Firefly, Joss Whedon’s tongue-in-cheek space-adventure show combined unforgettable characters with witty dialogue and intriguing plots. Fox decided 13 episodes were plenty, thank you very much.

Slings and Arrows, a Canadian Broadcast Company show about a wacky repertory theater troupe in a small Canadian city was snort-cola-through-your-nose funny. Apparently few people like having bubbles stream through their proboscis because it bit the dust after a season. At least we don’t have to feel bad about torpedoing it by becoming viewers. It was already gone by the time we got tipped to it and rented DVDs.

Other shows we’ve liked enough to put on our viewing calendar, but didn’t last long include Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, Black Adder, from Britain, and the Americanized version of Prime Suspect.

Here’s where the financial opportunity comes in. Since Carolyn and I have an unerring ability to pick shows that are doomed to end quickly, we could save the networks a ton of money. We’ll set up a consultancy called Fuh-gedda-bout-it, Inc.

For a reasonable yearly retainer (We’re thinking something in the neighborhood of $50,000), we’d offer the networks a chance to send us television pilots and/or early episodes. We’d watch and make a list of our favorites. We’d then email this list to the networks and they could cancel those shows without shelling out the millions more it would take to produce an entire season. Our $50,000 would be chump-change compared to what they’d spend in production and promotion costs.

For another small fee, we would agree to tell them which shows we truly loathed, so they could focus their advertising dollars on those productions.

Fuh-gedda-bout-it, Inc. is number 4567 in a series of 5000 of can’t fail get-rich-quick schemes. For only $39.95 we’ll send you a complete list. (The list itself is # 4568)

3 comments:

  1. I think it's a brilliant idea. And I could be your partner because most of the new shows I enjoy (like The Finder) also get cancelled. Also products I really like get discontinued as soon as I discover them, so the concept could be expanded to major producers of consumer goods.

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  2. I think, with Patricia's help we're about to launch the highest concept new business of 2012. Somebody notify Money Magazine.

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  3. What's even more irritating is that NBC cancelled Harry's Law, not because of bad ratings (Overall among the best of their scripted shows) but because the demographic was too old. Not enough 18-49s. Like those 50 and older stop buying things at a certain age, so you can't convince advertisers to buy time. Hope a cable outfit realizes the potential and decides to pick it up.

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