In Musea issue #61 (Nov.'97) I had a special issue that listed enough new TV show ideas to program a Musea network. Well the new season is here, and its time to update that list with 25 new shows. Let's send them up the TV antennae and see who puts down the remote!
It's preview night - and here comes the first show:
1. Zoo-land. Half hour show is on all aspects of animals in captivity and the wild. Includes behind the scenes looks at major zoo's across the US and world, changing trends in zoo's, petting zoos, exotic animals, experts on animal care, animal rights, etc. (May do the same type show about plants too)
2. Pilots. This showcases TV pilots, those first episodes of TV shows that producers are trying to sell to networks as a series. Let the audience look at the newcomers and vote on their favs.
3. Radio Hour. The picture on the TV screen shows a single still picture of one of those beautiful art deco styled radios from the golden era of radio. The audio is a radio show - either a classic drama or comedy from the 30-40's or a new radio production. The listener supplies the sets.
4. Scout Hour. An hour a week (or 1 each for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) devoted to all aspects of scouting: news, reports on troops across the country and the world, how-to segments, etc.; and end with the scout pledge.
5. Trailer World. Entire half hour shows nothing but previews of upcoming films, plus a calendar segment that shows what films are opening and when.
6. The Seniors Hour. An hour a week devoted to, and produced by seniors that spotlights concerns and activities of senior citizens.
7. Boris & Natasha. (Yes the Moose and Squirrel nemesis) Sitcom. Eastern European spies are sent to US to spy. But why? And for whom? And on what? Short, fat, mustached Boris and model gorgeous raven-haired Natasha arrive in US and begin to assimilate. Week after week they 'spy' for 'Fearless Leader" in silly and nonsensical, overly-serious ways. Unlike many sit-coms this is no 1 episode, 1 plot, 1 moral at the end, type show. Instead the fun just stops after 30 minutes and picks up next episode. Ex. Boris: "I have a code!" Natasha: "Boris quick, what does it say?" Boris: No, Natasha, I sneeze and cough - I have a code."
8. Theater World. An hour to catch up on all news and activities of theater including not only Broadway and off Broadway, but regional theater here and theater abroad. Includes what new productions are opening, what actors and actresses are hot, what notable playwrights are out there; plus excerpts from new and classic plays, scenes from productions, hints for new actors, history of the theater, bios of some of the best and brightest, calls for auditions, etc. May also have a spin off called Actor's Workshop. A reality show that shows an actor's workshop in real time. This allows the audience to see what goes on, meet some new actors, learn about acting, etc.
9. Public Domain Theater. Many films, TV shows, photographs, books, and musical recordings, etc. are now in the public domain which means anyone can re-play them. This hour is devoted to replaying these gems and curiosities from the past, and sharing them with the world.
10. Bills in Congress. Weekly show looks at laws that have been passed or are up for vote, or are lost in committee, etc. in the US House and Senate. It features what is in the bills, speeches and debate excerpts about the bills, what they're trying to hide or tack on, pork, etc. The show would also spotlight any major new and noteworthy bills in state legislatures too. Also would include ways for citizens to get involved.
11. Texas Rangers. Hour western is based on the true stories from the files and history of the Texas Rangers. Truth in this case is really stranger and more exciting than fiction.
12. Kittens, Puppies, Canaries, and Goldfish. Entire half hour showcases - you guessed it - kittens, puppies, pet birds, fish (and the aquariums they come in.) Who really can resist such fun.
13. Underground Theater with the Bikini Ninjas. Weekly 'B" film series not only shows classic 'B' films, underground and experimental films, indy shorts, and underground cartoons: but is hosted by the lethal and sexy bikini wearing Ninjas.
14. High Thinking and Super Thoughts. Hour program highlights the height of human intelligence. There's nothing here that's dumbed down for an audience. Just the opposite and that's the point. This is a look at human achievement at its peak. Subjects include: physics, math, computers, philosophy, chess moves, the art of thinking, or any genius thought or achievement in any field. This show covers the work of the most gifted minds of the past and present; plus even some glimpses into what may be in store in our future.
15. Poverty. Hour show looks at the world of the most poor among us, something seldom even mentioned on TV. It will show where poverty is, personal stories about living in it, what solutions work and don't work, etc. Remember "Money is most important in societies that don't share."
16. Open Call. Trying to start a new TV network is no easy job. There are a lot of hours of programming to fill. One show to help a new station (while we're putting together all these other shows and series) is Open Call. Anyone can come down to the station and perform in front of the live camera during open call. Either have a delay (to weed out the really perverse) or film it and edit out what the FCC would fine anyway. Either way it allows for immediate unpredictable entertainment that is worth a look.
17. Fashion Hour and Model Life. An hour surveying what's hot in the fashion biz, the latest shows, a spotlight on beautiful models, new fashion accessories, plus weekly tips to help us look our stylish best.
18. 3 Men. Comedy show takes place in a run down hotel where 3 men live. Each is a different age; one a senior, one middle aged, and one a college student. The 3 share only one thing in common - they all avoid work at any cost while collecting free gov. money (old man gets social security, middle aged man gets veteran disability money, and young man owes student loans). They spend their days playing tricks and taking revenge on each other for annoying each other. Each has a catch phrase:
Old - "I've got to rewrite my will', middle age, "I've got to fill out insurance forms, young, "I've got to study".
But their real objective is to one up the other two while avoiding gov. investigators. Laughs ensue.
19. Sleepytime Noises. Late, late night hour show features soothing sounds and pictures to help you get to sleep: gamboling sheep, waterfalls, rain noises, wind chimes, .... zzzzzzzz.
20. 'I Confess' Mystery Hour. This is a fiction mystery series with 4 parts: 1. The crime. 2. The investigation. 3. The trial. 4 - and this is the part that sets this show apart from the others - the confession. After hearing the jury's verdict of who they think did the crime, the camera searches out the suspects and centers on the thoughts of the real criminal who, in a soliloquy in his own mind, reveals how he did it and why. Will the wrong person be convicted? Will the real criminal even be suspected? What really happened on that fateful day of .... By the way where were YOU on that stormy night of August....?
21. Energetics. Science-history show (write me for details).
22. Man on the Street. Comedy that looks like a news show. Each week the news moderator asks the 'average' man on the street, to comment on that weeks news. Each week he somehow gets the same wacky characters that each do a fun wacky bit - and a little social satire on the side.
23. Mr. President. The camera looks over the oval office desk showing you the viewer, what the US President sees. You are him in this if-you-were-Pres., what-would-you-do, show. Each episode covers one major issue facing the country. Advisors and experts come into the Oval office and give their point of view and answer questions about things you might do or shouldn't do etc. At the end of the show you have heard every point of view on the issue, plus the political consequences of what you might say or do about it. What then would you decide. Show demonstrates how difficult and complex decisions can be. 24. Tin Films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Late night film series that shows the lesser 'B' films from Hollywood's heyday.
25. Reruns. Don't forget all the shows we invented in our Musea issue #61. That's worth a 2nd look.
Now that we've outlined the regular programming, how about a few specials throughout the year.
1. Lawyer Tricks: A program that looks at all the tricks lawyers use on juries.
2. Kid's Manners: A program that teaches some basic manners to kids.
3. Why We Believe in Democracy: A program for other nations showing why Americans value freedom and democracy.
4. Drugs, What Every Kid Should Know: Straight talk on all aspects of illegal drugs, alcohol, and misuse of prescription drugs.
5. Sex Ed. 101: Program of basics of sex education.
6. FCC License: Reality show shows a radio station trying to get an FCC license and all the hoops they have to jump through to get it.
We need some shorts that fill in spaces without being filler!
1. Musea Players: When the Musea comedy players get a good sketch together - show it.
2. Daily Work of Art: a once a day, look at and analysis of a single work of art - painting, sculpture, etc.
3. Camp Champ and Chump of the Month: Once a week we spotlight a major hero that's done something right and a major villian that hasn't.
4. Short films.
5. Jukebox: A look at and listen to, a classic recording.
6. Contest: A weekly contest question with prize.
Fred Argoff, best known for his zine Brooklyn mailed me his ideas for 4 shows for our Rise and Fall tv season issue.... A couple of additons to the schedule have occurred to me...
The Screen-Saver Hour, during which screen-saver patterns dance color- fully across the TV. (For myself, I find "3-D Pipes" much more entertaining than much of the programming currently provided by the major networks)
The Zinester Show. Here, a different panel of zine publishers provides scintillating conversation on an esoteric (if not positively obscure) bunch of subjects each week. This also provides for the possibility of a truly special show during 'sweeps' month: a live broadcast of the year's selections for the Zine Hall of Fame.
Marshmallow Peeps. OK, OK; there's gotta be something for the kiddies. I envision this as a cartoon series based on the confections everybody loves to rag on. I think this also has possibilities as a full-length animated feature movie. Hell, everything else is animated these days, so why not the peeps?
A Letter to the President. Sitcom based on the hilarious notion that you can actually commuicate personally with the Current Occupant of the White House. Each week, a different naive citizen sends the President a heartfelt and personal letter, and of course the laff riot begins when the people over at 1600 Pennsylvania open the envelope to peruse the contents.
Well that's it. What got high ratings from you?
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