Thursday, October 6, 2016

I Made A New TV Show Using The Ringer's Rules

This morning, the staff of The Ringer released their newest "kill some time at work and learn some new things about the people you follow on Twitter" project. They based it on the salaries of the highest-paid TV actors in the country, and they also factored in the wide variety of TV genres and settings that are currently popular.

Here are the general rules:

  • You have a budget of $250
  • With that budget, you have to pick one setting, one time period, and at least three actors
That's basically the whole thing. Here are some ideas that I have. Please feel free to hire me to produce/direct any of these, if you have that ability. 

I Can't Think Of A Name For This Show But I Know It's A Winner

Kiefer Sutherland ($30) + Julie Bowen ($25) + Kit Harrington ($50) + Tom Selleck ($20)

Present Day ($5) + Washington DC ($25)

Total Budget: $155

It stars Kiefer Sutherland, so obviously this is a show about terrorism. He's the good guy, in the classic Jack Bauer/Tom Kirkman fashion, and Julie Bowen is the wife that he actually allows to get close (unlike basically everyone in 24). 

Julie Bowen works some kind of "mom job" (like at a store or something) and that's how she meets Kit Harrington. He's a frequent customer, and I'm going to cross some boundaries here and say that there is some sexual tension between Jon Snow and Virginia Venit. Nothing will ever come of it, we convince ourselves, but you never know. 

Kiefer Sutherland's team at work has been working on a non-Muslim terror threat (way different than 24, I know). They aren't sure when or where or how the strike will come (those details come out as the show develops), but they know the man in charge of it all is Tom Selleck. They allude to an agent who has been infiltrating the terror group, and then the show cuts to Kit Harrington's face. It'll be reminiscent of this scene from Game Of Thrones:

Image result for jon snow reveal

In both shows, we assume Kit is the guy they're referring to in the preceding scene. In GOT, that may or may not end up being true. In this show, we are correct. Kit is a counter-terror agent who is simultaneously infiltrating Tom Selleck's terror group and crushing on Kiefer Sutherland's wife (though he doesn't know she's his boss' wife). 

The show progresses from there. At some points, we think Kit is going to flip for the bad guys. At some points, we think we're going to get a Harrington/Bowen sex scene. At some point, we think Kiefer knows that the young agent who works under him may also be working under his wife (if you know what I mean). 

At the end of the day, in the final scenes of the show, Kit has a choice between Sutherland and Selleck. He chooses Sutherland, kills Selleck, and saves the day. He finally meets Julie Bowen and realizes who she is. Then he kills himself because of all the mental hoops he's had to jump through over the course of the season. 

That got dark, maybe we need to spend the extra $12 to have this classified as gritty?

Harry Potter Spinoff

Harry Potter Universe ($75) + "Gritty" ($12)

Total Cast Spend: $177.50

Total Budget: $264.50

(Quick note: I don't know if the HP Universe gets me all of the magic/dragons/castles/settings already, or if I was supposed to pay extra for that. I chose to not pay extra for that, because an ensemble cast of this caliber was already a little over budget. If we go way over budget, that's someone else's problem.)

We're in the Harry Potter Universe, several decades before the events of the JK Rowling books. We're following Dumbledore (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, $50) and Grindelwald (Jonah Hill, just kidding, Daniel Craig, $25). They begin the series as friends, traveling the world and reaching magic heights that have never been reached before. 

I splurged on the "gritty" tag because this is a dark show. They are, essentially, planning to enslave everyone who is less powerful than they are. JK Rowling has alluded to Dumbledore being almost in love with Grindelwald, and essentially getting used for his magical ability. It's a more complex show than just "wizards and dragons" and I want it to feature the harsh reality of relationships. In that regard, it'll be a lot like Game of Thrones

There will, at some point, be a powerful scene (I'll leave out some specifics in the interest of spoilers) that features Aberforth and Arianna Dumbledore (Aaron Paul, $22.50, and Kristen Bell, $12.50) in vulnerable, emotional positions. 

Depending on how long we're planning on continuing this series, a variety of other characters could come into play. The only one I can afford to include here is Lena Headey ($50) as a young Professor McGonagall. She's talented, she's strong, and it will be super fucking weird to see Jaime and Cersei Lannister in such different roles. 

I'd Like To Get Stone And Watch This Live-Action Spongebob Remake

Spongebob Universe ($50)

Total Cast Spend: $205

Total Budget: $255

Once again, I'm going to ignore time period and setting so we can maximize the quality of our cast. This is as far from gritty as you can be, because it's Spongebob Goddamn Squarepants. Let's hop right into the cast:
  • Spongebob - Rob Lowe, $17.50 (he's playing Chris Traeger from Parks & Rec)
  • Patrick - Matt LeBlanc, $20
  • Gary The Snail - A Nonfictional Domestic Corgi, $30
  • Squidward - Andre Braugher, $10
  • Mr. Krabs - Billy Bob Thornton, $25
  • Sandy Cheeks - Lizzy Caplan, $10
  • Plankton - Peter Dinklage (no offense), $50
  • Mrs. Puff - Sofia Vergara, $25
  • The Flying Dutchman - Anthony Hopkins, $17.50
I don't think any casting director ever has cast a better trio than Chris Traeger/Joey Tribbiani/Anthony Hopkins as Spongebob/Patrick/Flying Dutchman. I'm going to pat myself on the back for that one for a really long time. 

We already have a million episodes of Spongebob plots to use, we just have to tweak them so that real people can act them out. We can also tie in references to Parks, Hannibal, Friends, Bad Santa, Game Of Thrones, and the thousand other shows/movies that this cast has made. 

I'm going to write these new scripts myself because I have negative five dollars to pay anyone to write them for me, but I'm going to try to channel my inner Archer/Arrested Development and write these scripts as cleverly as I can (I'm not actually going to write them). I imagine this show will be watched by about 12 people, and they will all love it. 

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