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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 3:47am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

In another topic, I pondered what were hits of the past 20 years, on network TV, that weren't comedies ("four nerds and their attempts to get girls"). 

So tell me. I want you to give me some wild premises that were wild in the pitch meetings that turned into terrific shows. I mean pretty good sized hits, not your personal favorites (although if there's overlap, of course...)

RULE: Please keep it to network TV. Trans-USA friends, I guess I'll just ask you to try to keep it to non-cable if you can... I'm afraid I don't know TV practices in other countries. I hope you get my point.

Here are a couple of examples...

A science fiction/spy series with two James Bond-ish agents, but set in the American post-civil war West.

The hilarity of a black-hating, foreigner-hating misogynist and his family in New York City.

What do we have, friends?


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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 11:36am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

" A guy with a new identity...and a Trans Am...a TALKING Trans-Am..."

"A business executive and a housekeeper have a love-hate relationship...now, get this, the exec is a woman...and the housekeeper is Tony Danza..."

"This alcoholic ex-ballplayer owns a bar, and hires his senile coach as a bartender. Then, this snooty intellectual chick shows up..."

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Plane crashes on a tropical island. A group of people survive.There's something in the jungle. Maybe a polar bear, but really I dunno. Then, in the second season we'll introduce a secret base under the island. And in it there's a button that you have to press every hour. And here's the good bit, if you don't press it, the world ends. Or maybe you go back in time and relive your life. Or something. Haven't got it all worked out yet!
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"An extraterrestrial crash lands on Earth and is picked up by a newspaper reporter . The human passes him off as his uncle while he tries to repair his ship."

A top ten hit it's first season.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"An architect's best friend is his horse who talks."

Huge hit for CBS (1st season was syndicated though).
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 2:11pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

"The inmates of a German World War II POW camp risk death by undertaking a series of dangerous, top secret espionage missions all unbeknownst to their prison captors.  And let's make it a laugh out loud comedy."  168 episodes, 6 seasons, all aired during the Vietnam War.


Edited by Rick Senger on 02 August 2017 at 2:11pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 2:32pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Strictly from my "generation"....

Guy marries a witch and lives in suburbia.

Astronaut finds a genii and lives in suburbia.

Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, and their families live in suburbia.

Ghoulish cartoon characters played in live action, living in suburbia.

People from different walks of life shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Hillbillies strike it rich and move to Beverly Hills.

Sophisticated city couple buy a farm.*

__________________

* The only one I have found holds up fifty years later. Probably because it plays like it was directed by Salvadore Dali.

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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 02 August 2017 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Furry, wisecracking Alien Life Form who loves to eat cats becomes a member of a ordinary, dull suburban family.  






Edited by David Allen Perrin on 02 August 2017 at 3:43pm
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 9 post reply


" A guy with a new identity...and a Trans Am...a TALKING Trans-Am..."

+++++++++++++++

Aka the greatest tv show of all time....if you forget the last season.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 1:04pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I vaguely recall news of a new version of Knight Rider coming to TV. Or maybe a Knight Rider movie. Something.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I believe it was Knight Rider 2000.

Which, I think, was their viewing audience size...
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 04 August 2017 at 8:47pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

They did a Knight Rider reunion movie, where KITT's "brain" was put into a totally different, lame as sin car that wasn't even black (it was red with a black roof) and they killed off Devon Miles.

They also did a completely unconnected tv movie called "Knight Rider 2000" that was a post-apocalyptic show where a guy had a car whose mind was that of a dead woman's somehow, and she could appear as a hologram. (It was the actress who played Kalisto on XENA).

Then they did the syndicated series TEAM KNIGHT RIDER, which was a group of people who had their own super-vehicles. It only lasted one season and ended on a cliffhanger where Michael and KITT supposedly showed up at the end. 

Then there was another Knight Rider reunion movie, that led into the short-lived new Knight Rider series. Turns out Michael Knight had a son, who had amnesia. And he became the lead in the new series, where Val Kilmer did the voice of a new, improved version of KITT. (A brand new A.I., not the old one modified) However, the show sucked. The car was lame and could turn into a pickup truck. The only significant things that really happened were that the original designer of KITT showed up (and died eventually), and that KARR returned, and was destroyed for good.

I love the original show, and liked Team Knight Rider. Hated the others.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 08 August 2017 at 4:18pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

"The inmates of a German World War II POW camp risk death by undertaking a series of dangerous, top secret espionage missions all unbeknownst to their prison captors.  And let's make it a laugh out loud comedy."  168 episodes, 6 seasons, all aired during the Vietnam War.

Putting the "party" in Nazi Party.


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 08 August 2017 at 4:19pm
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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

A suburban family who, unlike the Cosby's, don't get along but are stuck with each other because they are a shoe salesman, lazy, a dumb blonde or not attractive to women.
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