How I Almost Had a Fox Television Show

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… "congratulations, 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 I've tried.

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!


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