a PAW web exclusive column by Hugh O'Bleary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You gotta love it!
Princeton inspires producers in Hollywood
By Hugh OBleary
It was midafternoon
on a recent Friday, and I was fighting off that old after-lunch
sleepiness at my keyboard when the phone rang. I glanced at the
caller I.D. display and immediately recognized the number, with
its giveaway 310 area code. Beverly Hills. It was Scott from the
Coast, my one and only Hollywood pal.
I picked up the receiver
and had gotten out only Hel when Scotts
voice broke in.
he barked, and I could tell from the background buzz that he had
me on his handless headset, evidently while in the middle of his
spinning class. OBleary! Hang on were upping
the cadence. There followed a long roaring sound and a kind
of a moan and then he was back on, panting a bit. OBleary,
its development time! Ive got some big sitdowns on Monday
Moonves at CBS, HBO, Grushow at Fox and Im pitching
a trio of boffo projects. Theyre all Princeton-based! I figure,
What could be hotter? What could be more relevant? Every network
in town is buzzing over the U.S. News rankings. Viewers are hungry
for values, for intellectual engagement, theyre ready to go
back, OBleary. But, hey, as you know, Ive never actually
been to Princeton though I thought Risky Business was brilliant!
so Im having Stephanie fax you the proposals. I need
you to vet them for me by Sunday make sure Ive got
my Tiger stripes on straight and well conference.
He gave another gasp, and I heard dance music pulsing louder in
the background. Youll get co-exec producer credit on
any series that gets picked up, he yelled, and then the line
A moment later the fax
began to hum and out churned the familiar Scotso Productions letterhead.
I sat down to read. Call it Must We? TV:What About Shirley!
In the tradition of
the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Julia and Rosanne, Shirley! introduces
viewers to a ga-ga one-of-a-kind gal theyre gonna wanna get
to know! A single mom with a background in cutting-edge microbiology,
the loveable and leggy Dr. Tighlman finds herself in the middle
of an ivy-covered madhouse. She just cant sit still, man!
Note: Not so long ago
network TV might not have been ready for a show featuring a Canadian-born,
non-Princeton-degreed-woman prez, but this is the 21st century.
Still, we can expect some flack from advertisers, so maybe this
ones better suited for cable. That would also allow for realistic
academic language. Remember the Tigers
One of last years
breakout movie successes was Remember the Titans, with Denzel Washington,
a stirring true story of a high school football team whose success
helped bring a racially divided town together. Sports shows have
always done well on TV (think White Shadow!) and America is hungry
for inspiring, sweaty drama. This series would follow the Saturday-to-Saturday
struggles of a gutsy group of gridiron athletes as their heroic
play and near .500 record unites a campus torn by
can come up with something. Led by a charismatic coach (is Abe Vigoda
available?), the Tigers weather a brutal season (special effects
by the same team that did Band of Brothers for HBO) before pulling
it out in the final game. Singer
you loved him as Kramer; wait till you see him as Singer. Giddyup!
Richards plays a zany bioethics prof with a penchant for tofu and
philosophically controversial pronouncements. (Could be worth pitching
this one to the Animal Channel. And if it doesnt work out
after an episode or two, we can always kill it.)
I set down the fax and
sat very still. There was only one thing to do. I dashed off a quick
fax to Scott. All it said was, I want a piece of the syndication!
You can reach Hugh O'Bleary
at "Hugh O'Bleary" email@example.com