We pitched five shows to TLC -- here's what they said

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Image Credit: Discovery Channel

As you know, TLC recently aired a special titled The Man With the 132 lb Scrotum. Let that sink in for a second.

So just how out-there does an idea have to be to get the green light at TLC? To find out, we got on the phone with the network’s development execs, Amy Savitsky and Mariana Flynn, and pitched them five of our best ideas in hopes that they would get picked up and we could leave this journalism business once and for all.

How’d we do? Read on.

TITLE: AGIN’ CAJUNS
PITCH: The Golden Girls meets Swamp People: all the laughs, drama, and WTFs of a retirement home in Cajun country.
TAGLINE: “Where the bayou plays bingo”
TLC VERDICT: DEVELOP “This is fun, and if you want to take it to the next level, there are some things we could play with — like an upstairs-downstairs thing, where the young employees are catering to the older folks,” Flynn says. Savitsky explains further: “There’s a great battle of the generations that could take place there. For the network, it would be helpful to infuse the cast with some younger folks.”

TITLE: PROMPOSALS
PITCH: A weekly prom-com that documents a high schooler’s elaborate plan to ask his/her sweetheart to the big dance.
TAGLINE: “Go big or go stag”
TLC VERDICT: REDEVELOP “We think this is really fun,” Flynn says, “but it skews a little too young for TLC.” Adds Savitsky: “The only kernel that I could see for a TLC approach would be if you had the moms instead of the young men as the characters on the show. [The moms] would work as kind of pseudo-event planners, feeding them the lines and the to-dos and how-tos. It would be really funny and ridiculous that way, and then it would also have a female avatar for our older female audience.”

TITLE: TEXAS TAXIDERMY
PITCH: An inside look at the taxidermy trade in the Lone Star State.
TAGLINE: “Shut the stuff up”
TLC VERDICT: PASS Explains Savitsky: “It doesn’t seem to matter what network does it or what state it’s in, the audience has said ‘Stuff it’ when it comes to taxidermy. It’s been tried in Alaska and I think in Texas, but it doesn’t matter who or where — no one watches it. Like, you couldn’t even do a Duck Dynasty with it, where you have such fun characters, it would elevate the whole show.”

TITLE: GUERRILLA GARDENERS
PITCH: The real-life exploits of hobbyists who sneakily grow plants and landscape neglected corners of their town.
TAGLINE: “Black ops with green thumbs”
TLC VERDICT: PASS “Honestly, one of the toughest spaces on TV is anything outdoors,” Flynn says. “But it would be fun as a branded entertainment spot on a home-and-gardening network.” Savitsky agrees: “Definitely a fun, noisy piece for a nuts-and-bolts gardening show.”

TITLE: MENNONITE MEN
PITCH: Follows a group of excommunicated gay Mennonites sharing a house and sowing their wild oats in Miami Beach’s South Beach neighborhood.
TAGLINE: “It’s raining Mennonites”
TLC VERDICT: PASS “Any show that has a cast without women in it is going to be a very hard sell for TLC,” Savitsky says. Without giving any specific names, Flynn suggests pitching the idea to “a network that’s younger, male, and caters more to an LGBT audience.”

A version of this story appeared in the Aug. 30 issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now. 

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