TV Surf Report: The Clunkers! Original Ideas In Development That Make One Say “They Bought THAT?!!”


Santa Monica, CA — Sometimes, I wonder why and how in the world did a network/digitial platform buy that?  The pitch must have been fantastic “in the room.”

Or, the auspices were just too good to pass up.  Sometimes, you just want to be in business with cool people, hoping their next idea will actually work.

Here are The Clunkers, original ideas networks have bought and put into script development for the upcoming Pilot Season that I wish they hadn’t.

For the record, I am tired of shows about:

  •  Cops!  I am especially tired of female cops paired with old grizzled veterans.
  •  Detectives (with the exception of Sherlock!).
  • Twentysomethings! Stop trying to re-make Friends.  NBC nearly killed itself.
  • Jury Duty is boring!
  • Divorce.  Is not entertaining.


Here are this season’s CLUNKERS, loglines that make me Groan:

  • Splitsville at ABC:  A divorce comedy with single parents living in a cul-de-sac.  Yawn.
  • The Jury at ABC:  Murder Trial from the Jury’s POV.  Have you ever been on a Jury???
  • Smoke & Mirrors at CBS: Mysterious LAPD detective with Houdini-like powers of perception! I have major cop drama fatigue. Find another franchise, please!
  • Squad Goals at ABC: Twentysomething friends realize it’s time to grow up.  Oy vey!
  • Untitled Crime Drama at CBS: Female detective teams up with a biologist in LA. Snore!
  • Watchmen at HBO: Sorry, Zack Snyder. Your film was just barely more exciting than serving jury duty.  HBO, you already have a super hero series.  It’s called Game of Thrones!
  • Oh Mama at NBC: An engaged couple discovers their Mothers are having an affair…with each other! Cue: Rim Shot!  Five years of this?  No.
  • Brides at NBC: Family drama with Dracula’s three brides living the single life in Manhattan.  If Greg Berlanti can make a hit out of this clunker, I will eat my hat!
  • Law & Order: You The Jury at NBC:  Another Jury show, but this one is from Dick Wolf.  Jury Duty is about exciting as watching paint dry. Yawn.
  • Harvest at Spike: A father/daughter in the organ tissue black market.  Hilarious! Note: It’s a drama.
  • Haunted at SyFy: Four adult children of paranormal experts solve family mysteries. Bored just typing the logline.  Sorry, James Frey!


So, am I wrong?  Let me know what you think!

On a completely optimistic note, each of these scripts could turn out to be fantastic, transcending their tired, played out genres.


About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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