MEMO: To: James Oh, vice president of current programming, Fox Broadcasting Co.
RE: New situation comedy pitch.
Dear Mr. Oh: We have a great idea for a situation comedy that we think would fit well with Fox's lineup of cutting-edge programming.
Our show, tentatively titled Carried Away, focuses on the antics of a fictional Dallas City Council member—let's call him Dwaine Shmaraway—an irascible, loud-mouthed but lovable bumbler who fumbles his way through a variety of wacky scrapes. Supporting characters include his wife, an irascible but lovable state legislator; his irascible but lovable pals Archie and Arthur; The Chief, the straight-arrow lawman Dwaine regularly calls on to rescue him from his dilemmas; and Mayor Tom, the obligatory clueless white guy.
We have the rough draft of a pilot available. It opens with a shoeless Dwaine, Archie and Arthur tip-toeing into Dwaine's darkened house after a luckless Saturday night playing poker at which Dwaine has gambled away $6,500 to a card sharp. Unfortunately for Dwaine, his wife had intended they donate the money to their church that Sunday to help fund an anti-beer campaign. Talking fast, Dwaine begs off church, claiming that he had promised his friends they all could watch the big football game together.
While the wife's away, the three pals scramble to replace the money. Eventually they hit on a scheme to invite the card sharp and others to another poker game at Dwaine's house, where the trio hopes to win back the loot. Their harebrained scheme backfires; Dwaine loses his shirt; Archie and Arthur swill beer and squabble over the game; and Dwaine's wife returns home early with the minister to collect the money, catching Dwaine red-handed.
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(We envision this scene introducing Dwaine's series catchphrase: "I ain't no sixty-five-hundred-dollar Negro!")
All's well that ends well, however, as The Chief arrives on the scene, arrests the card sharp, settles the fight between Archie and Arthur and hands the purloined money over to the minister. The episode teaches Dwaine an important lesson about the value of honesty and the importance of having friends—especially those in high places.
We have plenty more ideas for the series, Mr. Oh, or at least we probably will when tomorrow morning's paper arrives. If you'd like to see a full script for a pilot episode, we'd be happy to discuss our fee. About $6,500 should cover it.
P.S.: If you're not interested, could you put us in touch with whoever does that Sarah Palin show on TLC? We have a great idea for a new documentary series.