Dear Mr. Weiner,
Good Day. My name is Jeremy Pendleton. I am Junior Vice President of Development and Production at The American Broadcasting Company. I recently received a copy of your script about the advertising executives in the late 50’s. First of all let me say how much I enjoy your work on the CBS program Becker. It looks to be one of the real true success stories this fall. Reading your script I can’t help but think of one word. FAILURE.
Mr. Weiner do you honestly think America wants to look backwards? We here at ABC did have luck with The Wonder Years but we would be fools to try something like that again. We are nearing the end of a century and the country is all about looking forward. We need shows about the future not the past. We want things that deal with the information superhighway. We want shows that are about good looking twenty somethings drinking fancy coffee and complaining about how much money they make.
Mr. Weiner do you honestly think we want to remind people of a point in American history where the postwar boom gives way to the turbulent 60’s? The economy is booming, we aren’t at war, people are able to buy two, hell, four homes if they want. Do you think they want to turn on their TV and be reminded of a time where that all went away? I mean, Matt, can I call you Matt? What makes you think anyone would be interested in a show about people selling things?
Isn’t the point of television to make people forget all about the advertisements? Now you want to go and remind them not only of the ads but also of the people that make them? What next Matt a show that takes place in a hot dog factory? If we start reminding people about the ads they may start wondering why they need to watch them. Could you imagine a world where people didn’t watch the ads? It would be the death of everything we hold dear. You write about these ad men as if they are the worst thing that happened our country. Why must you bite the hand that feeds you so well, Mr. Weiner? It’s like watching a remora fish mock a shark.
If you were smart you would start coming up with pitches for reality programs. They are cheap and completely forgettable. We almost bought a version of a Swedish show where people live on an island together and eat bugs. I wish we could have shown it. Now that is television. Tan people, swimming around and spending their time on the beach? That is must see TV. We are taking a pitch next week on a show where people eat bugs and get covered in snakes. This is what America wants. We need more people eating bugs. We are not in the business of telling stories Matt, we are in the business of selling ad time, pure and simple.
Before you go pitching this somewhere else let me give you some notes. First off this Don fella needs to be something else. Maybe he is a spy? You know sells ads by day is James Bond by night You could have him working to change the history we know. Oh boy. Here is an idea. Don foils the Kennedy assassination. You have him going to Dallas to pitch some oil company but secretly he is there to kick the shit out of that pinko Oswald. Now that is story telling. Don could then go on to Cuba and punch Castro right in his stupid beard. Matt the possibilities are endless. You need to stop thinking so small if you ever want to get this show on the air.
Also let’s talk about the cast. I would take that mild mannered secretary Peggy and make her sexy. Maybe she works at the Playboy Club at night and is also a spy. Actually you know what we should do? You should scrap all this shit and write an Austin Powers TV show. That is something that would work. I got a look at the upcoming sequel and let me tell you H-I-T. Big time. You have a feel for the period but you have to get away from this grounded boring nonsense and give the people what they want. Fat Bastard eating bugs.
All the best with your career Matt. I mean that. But if you really want to stay in this business you have to work harder to please the viewers. I have to go, we are expanding Who Wants To Be A Millionaire to six nights a week. I get to help pick out Mr. Philbin’s ties each night. I got a real eye for fashion. Before my uncle hired me here I worked at The Gap.
All The Best,