“Good afternoon we’re from the network. I’m Margeaux Duvoux. That’s with an X.”
“Which name?” I asked as I shook her hand.
“Both,” she replied.
“Hi, I’m Richard Head and I’m an alcoholic.” The second executive shook my hand. “And we’ve got to be honest with you, we’ve got a lot of shows in the works. You’re really going to have to wow us today.”
“We need you to engage us with synergy!” Margeaux added as she pushed her hands together. “We’re looking for something with pizzazz – but not too much pizzazz, we need something that people will want to watch. Something that will put money in the bank.”
“Of course,” I answered. “That’s why I would like to show you Team One: Criminal Intent.”
“Hmmm,” Richard rubbed his forefinger on his upper lip. “Isn’t there already a similar show to this?”
“There is,” I conceded. “But there’s a certain simplistic elegance to the police procedural that works and we’re looking to use that to our advantage.”
“Explain,” Margeaux harrumphed.
“Well, it should be obvious that the police procedural does very well not only in first run, but then subsequently in syndication as well,” I said. “You have a crime, the characters investigate, throw in a few clever lines, solve the crime, then you run the teaser for the next week. Nothing to get you bogged down in a long running story arc or any messy personal details to confuse watchers and prevent them from coming back again.”
“Interesting,” Richard nodded. “But the story arc shows are quite popular right now.”
“Of course they are, but who’s going to watch Lost or Battlestar Galactica in reruns? Nobody, that’s who, because if you miss an episode you miss what’s going on. A viewer needs to either catch up or else drop out. And don’t get me started on that grand ending to BSG. Blah! It ruined the whole story from beginning to end.”
“Well you do have a very valid point, I would rather be in another drug-fueled orgy with Richard here than watch that Battlestar Galactica ending again,” Margaeux agreed. “Tell me though, what is the message that you’re trying to convey with your show?”
“Team One rocks.”
“You just lost me,” Richard groaned with disinterest.
“Look at it this way,” I pushed forward. “You want a simple but easily valid statement for everyone to believe in. This is it. People watch the show, get hooked on the show, then they want more, and that’s what we give them: Spinoffs: Team One Special Victims Unit, Team One: Miami, Team One NCIS, Team One Beach Patrol, Team ONe Beach Patrol Nights, kids shows, lunch boxes, video games, syndication everywhere. That’s how it’s done.”
“I see what you’re saying,” Margeaux with an X nodded. “But I think we need something with a little more oomph, you know. We want to take over everything, what about ‘Bow Down to Team One?’”
“No no, that’s a little too much,” I insisted. “People will get wise to that and start working against our cause. We don’t want our TV station to be overrun by elite counterterrorist units or suave British spies – believe me I’ve seen plenty of that kind of stuff in my day. We just want everyone to dully accept the truth.”
“I like it,” Richard nodded. “It’s a good plan and we don’t really have to work all that hard at it. It’s win win.”
“I like it too. This thing is going to print money,” Margeaux agreed. “One question: who is that first guy on the left in the first picture?”
“Private Hudson? Oh yeah, he’s harmless.”
“Yeah,” Margeaux exhaled. “I don’t think he’ll work for the show.”
“Yeah, not what we’re looking for here,” Richard nodded. “Definitely not the right look.”
“Yes, you will need to ditch the private,” Margeaux agreed.
“You got it,” I said. “He’s gone.”