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Y.P.R. & Co.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Memo to the Executives

Ron Burch

To: TV Development V.P.s
From: Office of the President, Network Programming
Re: Reality Programming—Tentative Pilots for Next Season

Senior Home
A live-camera look at daily life in a nursing home in Piscataway, New Jersey. Seniors picked as contestants will have a wide range of maladies but none immediately life-threatening, so as to not bias the results. The show will also embrace the humanistic side of aging with the possibility of love affairs among the seniors, reconciliation with estranged family members, and, hopefully, some exciting deathbed confessions. The contestant who lives the longest wins the $1,000,000 prize. Marketing states in its Audience Approval Poll that 63% will watch but 88% wondered if they may submit relatives as possible contestants.

Here’s Johnny (Working Title)
Possible contestants will be asked to submit headshots and a one-page bio. The eight chosen females must have no prior record of prostitution. (Note: the word “prostitute,” or any of its derivations, will never be stated in the show to avoid negative connotations. “Reproductive Small Business” will be used in its place.) Contestants will be assembled in a Mustang Ranch–type house provided by an offshore subsidiary of the Network. Each contestant will compete for the $1,000,000 prize based on the total number of johns completed within the show’s season. One point will be given to a contestant for each john serviced, regardless of the specific service requested. However, if a john requests more than one contestant for services, the single point will be divided by the total number of Reproductive Small Business Women involved. Marketing rates a 99% Audience Approval for male audience members 18–65 if there is live sex shown; Marketing also notes that 99% of the Audience Approval asked for the address of the house. The working title of the show is “Here’s Johnny” but that title has not yet been cleared by Legal.

Set in a rehabilitation center, this series will follow the travails of individuals who are trying to overcome drug and alcohol dependency. In addition to our regular contestants, several contracts have already been negotiated with “chemical friendly” celebrities who will “star” in the show as themselves. Three scheduled breakouts have already been arranged, and a subplot will be introduced for the one of the celebrities, a previous heroin junkie, where he will “kick the horse but get hooked on meth.” Marketing rates a 52% Audience Approval for the Midwest but a 96% in Los Angeles and New York City. The $1,000,000 prize will be awarded to the non-celebrity contestant who suffers the most relapses by the season’s last episode. Please note that employees of the Network are disqualified from competing.

The Infidelity Show
A proposed spin-off to “Here’s Johnny.” Hidden cameras will follow around a selected number of contestants, who are married men, and film their infidelities. Hidden cameras will also be used to film the concurrent lives of their unsuspecting families. The $1,000,000 prize will be won by the contestant whose affair(s) can last the longest without discovery by his family. In order to maintain a reliable level of suspense, clues will be left for the spouses in the form of lingerie embroidered with names such as “Kitty,” scraps of paper with illegible phone numbers, phone calls from anonymous females asking for “Daddy” in sultry voices, and sexual devices, hopefully leading to questions such as “Honey, what is this vibrating butterfly doing in your briefcase?” Marketing rates a 76% Audience Approval if none of those polled for Audience Approval are involved.

As the Seconds Tick Away …
This exciting new pilot will be set in a Texas Correctional Institution on its Death Row. Legal suggests DNA testing on all convicted participants in order to not get embroiled in a larger legal suit if the prisoner is discovered, pre- or post-execution, to be actually innocent. The Network has agreed to pay for all prisoner appeals to stay execution in order to build the show’s suspense. As some of the individual stories come down to the last minutes prior to capital punishment, the Governor has agreed to be live on-camera considering late appeals in order to ensure that “justice is done.” The winner of the $1,000,000 prize will be the last prisoner executed. Legal has not yet approved the concept for this show but Marketing states that in its Preliminary Audience Approval Poll that the numbers were the highest ever, especially if the executions were broadcast live.

Please note that all shows will emphasize the positive life-embracing values that our Network has always believed in, while providing quality entertainment to our beloved audiences.

Ron Burch lives in Los Angeles.