The television networks continue to reboot previously successful enterprises with the likes of Hawaii Five-O, Roseanne, Magnum PI, Murphy Brown, Battle of the Network Stars, Charmed, Duck Tales, Dynasty, The Gong Show, The Joker’s Wild, the Magic School Bus, Miami Vice, The Munsters, and Will and Grace, to name just a few. I liked some of the original versions of these shows and wonder why Simon & Simon, RipTide, Tour of Duty, Quantum Leap, Quincy ME, Kojak, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, ALF, Taxi, Welcome Back Kotter, Bonanza, The Jeffersons, The Jetsons, Sanford and Son, WKRP in Cincinnati, Mork and Mindy, Barney Miller, The Honeymooners, Alice, Hogan’s Heroes, Benson, and Three’s Company have been overlooked.
Anyway, it appears as though we have lost some creativity in Hollywood. So, as another service of DifferentJim, here are some honest-to-goodness original ideas for TV shows (as far as I know). Don’t dwell on the names I gave them:
- “Settlement Five” – Drama set in a dystopian future. In this society, corporations have taken over the responsibility of social welfare from local, state, and federal governments in exchange for significantly lower taxes and fewer regulations. Our main character lives in a development run by a corporation in which they are given stipends, a place to live, and a job. In order to maintain order, the corporation controls the development with a heavy hand to the point that it becomes an authoritarian civilization. Because of her job, our main character is able to move about the development and into the wealthier neighborhoods with normal government control. She can see both sides. She uses her access to start-up an illegal business in the development to sell goods she obtains “on the outside.” But she starts to see the corruption of the corporations running these developments and reluctantly begins to secretly work for change while still profiting from the arrangement.
- “Parallel Universes” – Whenever the main character wakes up, she is in a parallel universe where only a handful of things are different. She has to figure out what is different in this universe so that she doesn’t run into problems (of course, she runs into problems). However, one constant (mostly) between the universes is that she is a detective (police or private) investigating a series of murders.
- “The Gazette” – This fake-documentary show (like The Office, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation) follows reporters for a small(ish) town weekly newspaper.
- “YouTube Family” – There are a lot of families with YouTube channels these days, some of which are very successful. Have a fictional show about a family that has a successful YouTube channel and show how the on-screen and off-screen lives are different. Also show them dealing with rising popularity. And, of course, they have rivals in their own neighborhood.
- “Senior Detectives” – A private detective agency with only senior (60+ years old) private detectives. They all live in a retirement community. I guess it is sort of Murder, She Wrote for the boomers.
- “Star Trek: Patrol” – A police procedural set in the Star Trek universe. Get to see the darker, seedier side of Star Trek.
- “99% to 1%” – Reality Show – To be totally honest, this idea has some potentially serious ethical issues. The idea is to take a person or family that is “at the bottom” and give them $5 million. Offer them all kinds of assistance (financial, psychological, social, etc) but don’t require them to take advantage of the assistance. Have experts talk about how they are doing and what they could have done differently. Follow a different person/family each season. Maybe have two different people at the same time and see how they make different decisions.
- “Working Stiff” – The inverse of the above…sort of. Take a person that has been wealthy their entire life and make them live on a normal living wage. We will see how they adjust.
- “Lifestyle Business” – A true story style show of people that have been successfully developing lifestyle businesses.
- “Working Old” – Sitcom featuring older people (>65 years old) who live in a retirement community but also work lower wage jobs.
I may come up with more. If anyone actually reads this post and decides that they want to make a show based on any of these ideas, shoot me an email.