It's upfronts season across the television industry. I'm sure you're all very excited.
If you don't know what upfronts are, I'll distill it for you really quick: It's when television networks pitch to advertisers all the crappy shows that they're going to shove down their viewers' mouths for the next six months with incessant promotional spots that force you to turn your television set into a fancy fish tank.
It's also when networks announce the cancellation of shows that were previously on their schedule. We're not going to talk about that, though, because I'm still sore about ABC giving the axe to SPORTS NIGHT over 10 years ago.*
This got me thinking: If Doctor Daryl Gross was running SUA-TV, what would he be programming for the 2011-2012 athletic year? Given the amount of white noise careening through the Carrier Dome during any given football or basketball game, you'd have to assume that there would be huge blocks of broadcast time dedicated to paid programming. With that aside, however, what would the rest of the slate look like?
Well, it's a good thing I exist. I have more than enough ideas for SUA-TV pilots; some of them are good, some of them are complete garbage, but all of them are better than whatever the hell VH-1 is cramming into your face on a daily basis.
Here's a few ideas that might have a shot at getting green-lighted by the network.
Pilot I: BOEHEIM ON BUSINESS
A game show hosted by Mike Hopkins and featuring Syracuse head men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim as "The Decider". Contestants from a live studio audience are chosen at random to describe to "The Decider" the business industry in which they work. Coach Boeheim — a self-proclaimed knowledge source for understanding whether people actually know their business — then decides whether they know their business. If they don't, Coach Boeheim then shames them in a public forum in front of family, friends and colleagues.
Fun for the entire family! Received a test run in the Carrier Dome press conference room in early-2011. It admittedly received mixed reviews.
Pilot II: CHANDLER JONES VERSUS THE WORLD
A travelogue series featuring Syracuse defensive end, Chandler Jones. Jones travels the world, attempting to sack as many things as possible:
- How many unsuspecting Asian businessmen in downtown Shanghai can Jones put on the concrete?
- How many sacks of potatoes can Jones sack in one sack attempt?
- Look out, spotted owls in Oregon! Jones is going to sack you right out of existence!
It's educational and fun, all rolled into a 30-minute romp of sack-induced pain.
Pilot III: CHEW WITH CHEW
A program that any foodie would love. Featuring Syracuse wide receiver Van Chew, Chew takes viewers around the Syracuse campus, tasting all the delightful offerings the university has to offer. In addition to showing off the culinary uniqueness of Syracuse, Chew also lets his viewers know the secret to his ability to stay rail-thin, despite consuming upwards of 5,000 calories per day.
Think Anthony Bourdain meets MTV's True Life: I Have An Eating Disorder.
Pilot IV: THE JARDINE AND WAITERS FILES
A buddy-cop procedural featuring Syracuse basketball guards Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters. Jardine and Waiters investigate unsolved breaches of the social contract as committed by "haters". Despite all the "haters" putting obstacles in their way, the Philadelphia natives always seem to smoke them out, eventually charging the "haters" with "Hatin' Instead of Motivatin' ", a class C felony in college basketball fandom.
The one-episode story arcs usually conclude on a high note, with Jardine ending his "hatin' interrogatin' " of the malfeasor with an inspirational quote from Rev Run.
* You guys! SPORTS NIGHT is on Netflix now. It's as awesome as I remember it. Well, after the first season when the laugh track gets dumped like an overly-corsaged prom date.