An incredible TV show idea
This might be unprecedented: Simply posting an idea for a TV show on the Internet for all to see. Here is how this came about:
Getting an idea to someone who might think it is great, and has the cash and or experience to want to do something with it, seems to be getting more difficult these days rather than easier. While the Internet has made it easier than ever to get an idea to an agent, publisher, a producer etc., they seem more cut off and unapproachable than ever. They have their websites up and running, but don't send them anything--they are not accepting. The lights are all on, but there does not seem to be anyone at home.
Beyond the obvious rampant paranoia in the industry, my best guess is that the ease of the Internet is working against itself, and these various outfits don’t have, or are not willing to invest in, the human resources necessary to take on the volume of material coming their way, so they just shut off the spigot. And beware, I have come across a few production companies that have "pitch us" pages that essentially prompt you to agree not to sue them for any similar "future" ideas that "they" might think up. Future ideas? Gee, what could have inspired those?
I should mention that, as far as TV shows are concerned, there is a website that will post your idea (supposedly for only certain producer types to see) for an exorbitant fee, and then delete it after a few weeks, which make no sense to me, at all. Indeed, if there were as many people out there actually looking for a good book to publish or TV show to produce as there are people looking to take advantage of those with the ideas, there might be good book or TV show produced now or then.
Well, make your bed, you must lie in it, as the saying goes. The problem here is, of course, if others follow suit and simply post their own ideas on the web, any sincere producer or interested party will be only be less sure of where the idea originated. Well, I suppose it comes down to getting to know the person presenting the idea—if they have a history of stealing, lying or false representation, it would greatly increase the likelihood that the person simply lifted it from the Internet. Since this has always been the case, I don't see as anything has really changed.
Anyway, my patience for so much nonsense ran out long ago, so I decided to just post the idea and get on with my life. Obviously, it would be best if all such publically presented ideas were grouped in one location, or in the fewest number of locations and languages feasible, to provide a sort of "library of ideas" for all producers to refer to--one that does not delete an idea for no reason. So if there is anyone else out there with an original, incredible TV show idea who agrees with my assessment, you are welcome to send it to me. I will post it here in the order it was received—no charge, no time limit. However, it must be in English, and I will only post ideas that have been registered in some capacity. In the US, the best place would probably be with Writer’s Guild East or West. There is a fee for registering, but you must establish a date before you submit your idea to anyone. If it is an idea for a reality show involving yourself, perhaps it is not so necessary, but certainly for anything else.
My idea for a TV show came to me in an epiphany in July of 2013. By February of 2014, I had the details flushed out and registered it with the Writers Guild, but I have various sealed and dated copies going back to July. I managed to get it to a few people, including one production company, and I think aspects of the idea are already being stolen (and turned into garbage).
I retain all rights and I will defend them. I don’t care if you are a Mongolian yak herder or a billionaire oil tycoon living on top a Venezuelan tepuy, steal it and I will track you down.
You might think I am only interested in selling the rights, but actually, it would be great to co-produce the show with an actual television producer; The reason being, it is a show that I would like to watch myself, and keeping some ownership of the rights would ensure it does not deviate too far from my vision, which is quite clear. Any interested parties can contact me at davedaveconklin.net. I have omitted a lot of behind-the-scenes technical details from the following treatment, plus a couple things that complete the idea, the "icing on the cake," as it were. The entire treatment is somewhat longer, and better. Beyond that, I have a preliminary drawing of the tar and feather machine, and some comedy sketch ideas.
“Don’t Laugh” a sketch comedy television concept by Dave Conklin. WG-East #R30755, reg. date 3/17/14.
A group of comedians learn scripted comedy sketches. The sketches would be based on the same themes that arise on any typical sketch comedy/variety show—political satire, current events, TV commercial parodies, unusual characters, pop-culture references, etc. except for one major difference: The comedians are instructed to secretly devise alterations designed specifically to “bust up” the other comedians during the live performance. When the show goes on, none of the comedians are aware, of course, what the others have planned for them (or what might spontaneously occur.)
Each cast member, however, has an incentive not to lose his or her composure, because at the end of every hour-long show, the cast member who breaks down the least number of times will be declared the winner of that episode, and the cast member who breaks down and laughs the greatest number of times will be declared the loser of that episode.
The loser must then sit poised above the “tar and feather” machine, a long boxy device resembling something pulled from a factory floor, with various indicator lights and exterior mechanical movements etc. The winner gets three throws with a baseball from a set distance to “dunk” the loser by hitting a target. If the winner succeeds in hitting the target, the loser falls into one end of the machine and gets “processed.” A green light at the other end indicates that the loser has been processed. A door is opened to reveal the “humiliated” tar-and-feathered loser (actually just sticky syrup and feathers), end episode.
If the winner misses the target after three throws, the loser is safe, end show, filling time with clips from past episodes.
The general idea behind the tar and feather machine (and the concept) is to create some sort of penalty that is humorous, yet not so harsh as to make the show too competitive.
Update: After getting into a slight “tussel” with the Tonight Show over a sketch they began airing back in January of 2019, I learned on 9/13/21, through other means, of a TV show called “Make Me Laugh” that had several brief runs from 1958 to 1997. I never knew it existed, and apparently neither did the Tonight Show. Beyond the fact the premise of the show (MML) involved trying to make someone laugh who was trying not to in the context of a quasi-contest (the person lost $20 if they laughed, or something like that) my idea has many stark differences, of course. It is obvious, too, as to why “Make Me Laugh” never caught on, as ultimately is was barely more captivating than if the comedians had simply done their routines, and, to the best of my knowledge, standup alone has never given a show great staying power.