So let me tell you about the time I almost had a Fox Television
show. I'm not talking about one of these "throw us a pitch
and we'll see" opportunities. I'm talking
you're one of the three children's shows we're airing next year."
The players in this drama were myself (obviously),
my friend Brent and someone I will call George. You'll see why I
call him that in a moment.
This all unfolded early in my writing career.
Not sunrise early, here, but early enough that my career definitely
needed a cup of coffee to get started. My friend Brent approached
me concerning a significant proposition. A stuntman friend of his,
who I'd met on a couple of occasions, was throwing together a pitch
for Fox television. George had worked stunts on Battlefield Earth,
Gothika, The Bone Collector and Taking Lives, and this was the heyday
of Montreal's role as prized location for movie companies. He was
also part of a group that wore Captain Power-style armor suits and
performed high-stunt Kung Fu on stage during rap concerts
I'm not kidding. I seriously couldn't make this up if I tried. And
One night, George and his crew open for one of
those flash-in-the-pan boy bands. You know the ones? The ones with
the shelf-life of fruit flies? Block the New Kids or Waiting for
Our Balls to Drop
one of them.
Regardless, A Fox producer was watching the concert
and thought the martial arts/power ranger/rap show was a winning
combination. So he suggested they pitch a children's television
series where they fight evil and end the episode singing a rap song
with a message. Y'know
quality programming (then again, I
sold my soul ages ago, so who am I to criticize).
So George asks for Brent's help and Brent brings
me on board. And we start putting together a bible for the show.
Things are going well, at this point. Then Fox
greenlights the show and tells George how much they're paying.
Now pay attention, because this is where George
earns his nickname.
George refuses the offer because the offer, which
is the same for all deals of this type, is too low for such an important
player like him. Fox Television walks because they have a dozen
more pitches to bless with this opportunity.
If you've ever seen the comedy Seinfeld, George
pulled a George Costanza by refusing a television deal because it
was "too insulting."
Bye Bye, television land
so long opportunity
of a lifetime!