A conversation between two network TV executives before green-lighting “Work It” and “¡Rob!”
Midseason TV begins in earnest this week, although it's difficult to use the word "earnest" when the big four networks are subjecting us to blights upon humanity such as Work It and ¡Rob!
How could these shows make it past the initial pitch meeting, much less produce a pilot, and then having watched said pilot, the networks said, yes, let's make more episodes of this?!?! I imagine it might have gone something like this...
CBS Executive: "How's your midseason slate looking for January?"
ABC Executive: "Pret-ty good!"
CBS Executive: "Congrats on opening up a new hour-long block of sitcoms on Tuesday. Nice job capitalizing on that manly men sentiment that's all the rage at my gym. Bringing Tim Allen back: Genius."
ABC Executive: "Well, Man Up! didn't work out so hot. But we've got something ready to go in that time slot that'll fit just fine."
CBS Executive: "Another men being men comedy, to heck with the women?"
ABC Executive: "No. Even better. Work It."
CBS Executive: "A Missy Elliott project???"
ABC Executive: "I don't know who that is. Is she friends with that Bieber kid? Anyhow. Remember how much you loved Bosom Buddies? This is the reboot!"
CBS Executive: "So you have a funny lead like Tom Hanks?"
ABC Executive: "Nope."
CBS Executive: "A likeable second banana in Peter Scolari?"
ABC Executive: "Nah."
CBS Executive: "A hottie like Donna Dixon? Comic relief from Holland Taylor? A classic pop/rock theme song?"
ABC Executive: "Look. People have much lower expectations now than they did in the 1980s. Just stick some guys in dresses and makeup and hilarity ensues! The Occupy Wall Street people won't know what to do with the idea that men could get jobs if they just pretended to be women! It's a high-concept comedy."
CBS Executive: "Sounds like someone was high when they came up with the concept. Good luck with that."
ABC Executive: "What do you have in the hopper?"
CBS Executive: "Oh, just another family-friendly broad-based sitcom on Thursdays to show NBC how it's done."
ABC Executive: "You're bringing back Shit My Dad Says?!?"
CBS Executive: "Ha. As much as everyone loves the Shat, we've found an even bigger undiscovered talent. You like Adam Sandler, don't you?"
ABC Executive: "Doesn't everyone? You got Sandler to do TV?"
CBS Executive: "Next best thing. Rob Schneider."
ABC Executive: "The makin' copies guy?"
CBS Executive: "Well, he's done more than that. Deuce Bigalow. 'You can do it!'"
ABC Executive: "OK. I'm with you. What's the concept?"
CBS Executive: "Rob marries a tall, hot model in Vegas, only to find out her family is Mexican!"
ABC Executive: "Wait. Didn't you already shoot down that pilot?"
CBS Executive: "Re-shot it. We found a cheaper actress to play the model Mexican wife."
ABC Executive: "Aren't you worried about seeming a little, well, racist?"
CBS Executive: "Oh, not to worry. Most of the racist and ethnic jokes are made by the Mexicans."
ABC Executive: "You've got bigger balls than the last chumps over at NBC. They killed Outsourced, even though its ratings were just as good if not better than those comedy nerd shows they air on Thursdays."
CBS Executive: "Well, at least we can both rest easy knowing we're not putting that Chelsea Handler show on the air."
ABC Executive: "How did they convince her to pretend she's old?"
CBS Executive: "Acting."
Work It debuts tonight on ABC, whether you like it or not:
Watch three minutes of ¡Rob!, if you can:
Note: It took me longer to write this than it did to write the scripts to both of these sitcoms. It's a fact. Look it up.