I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the comments from my last post about the Quarter Incident at the Queen Mary. The discussion, the lines of thought and the way that people differ in their analysis of this event is one of the things that I most cherish about the power of my line of work. I love being able to be the catalyst for that.
You know, It continually amazes how much utter garbage is on TV. The work to getting something like The Skeptologists that is not only entertaining, but is thought provoking and dare I even say it aloud: “educational” on TV is stupendously difficult.
The problem that we (And I mean we as Skeptics) really have is that we’re not cool. Ah ah ah, don’t even start… Nope, we’re not. Granted, there’s a few that tip the scales towards coolness, and heck most of you all are some of my biggest heros! I am humbled by the intellect, provoking discourse and ability to wrangle science like a frontier cowboy. BUT! Compared to the stars of the entertainment world, sports, politics and just pure celebrity, we don’t got it. Well, not yet anyway.
I’m not worried though. That’s not what it’s all about. The issue however is convincing the TV execs that in this case, the star power is truth and science! They want celebrity-star-power and a sure fire hit. One reality that is very evident by the response that we get as we work through the process of selling the show, and other projects that I’m working on is that no exec will put his or her individual neck on the line and go to bat for a show anymore. They want consensus, unanimous opinion and a way to point both their fingers in opposite directions and say “it was their fault” when the ratings start to fall, as they eventually will, no matter how good a show you have. All the TV executives want a clear and unobstructed way out. If you watch a few hours of network prime-time, you’ll quickly understand why everything pretty much looks and feels the same within a few major genre’s… They all can point to another show and say “But American Idol was a hit! So America’s Got Talent has GOT to work!” Everyone around the big mahogany table nods appropriately, and bang-o you got a network deal.
A very wise TV man told me recently, “They are all looking for a reason to say no.”
It’s so true, and if you let it, that’ll tear you up into little pieces and make you want to go drive one of the little caged lawnmower things that pick up the driving range golf balls for a living, cause well, you feel about that small. But I can’t. I won’t. I refuse! (Bang!)
The Skeptologists is a risk. For all of us, creatively, financially, emotionally. A big one if your a TV exec. We’ve created a show that was calculated to be a marketable show, and we now have that. Our presentation is getting very high marks, thanks to our awesome team both in front of and behind the camera. And I’m happy to say that we’re still in the running for the opportunity to get the show on my #1 network pick. We’ve got a long way to go, and mostly we’re waiting for decisions to be made behind closed doors. And man, If you thought waiting for the toast to pop-up sucked, try waiting for the next big moment in your career to pop up!
How would you do it? How would you convince a 20-something exec that you just brought them the newest 7 stars of TV. To stick their neck out, to go to bat, to make that call?
I love this show, and I really want to watch this show. It’s what I would break out the popcorn and Pepsi and wrap up with a blanket for. Hell, I might even turn off my cell phone, well, OK no, I wouldn’t do that, I have TiVo. But the almost 3000 emails of support for the show, and the constant comments and support from everyone that I talk to about this show ought to count for something, because I think that not only are the Skeptics ready for a show like this, but a good portion of the nation is ready for this. I feel the Winds of Science and Reason beginning to howl and you’d better hold onto your hat! This one is gonna be Big Baby! We got Star Power! (Call me. Mean it.)