Wednesday, October 10, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Memo Details PBS Programming in Development for a Romney Administration

From the desk of Lance Nielsen Tartikoff, Senior Vice President and Chief TV Programming Executive

Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Supporters,

By now, you’ve heard Mitt Romney’s pledge to cut all federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and, by extension, PBS. Given President Obama’s lackluster performance in the Denver debate and the subsequent seismic shift in the polls, I appreciate this chance to ease any fears regarding the much-heralded “demise” of public broadcasting.

We at PBS Programming actually see this time as an exciting opportunity, a chance to reinvent the network for the 21st century while retaining the special flavor of public television. Herewith, please find our current development slate for a new, more commercially viable PBS during a Romney administration:

1)         Ayn Rand’s Sesame Gulch

Following a very special transitional episode in which Sesame Street is seized under eminent domain and razed to make way for a high-end retail complex, America’s favorite childhood companions relocate to Ayn Rand’s Sesame Gulch, where a special combination of unionless charter schools, permissive regulatory environment, and can-do American spirit make everyone a millionaire 1%er!

ADDENDUM: I feel the Sesame brand will continue to be not just the signature franchise for PBS but also an overall network builder. To that end, spin-offs also in development include Sesame Shore, Dancing with the Sesame Stars, Sesame SG-1, and Sesame Rehab with Dr. Drew. (The participation of Dr. Drew Pinsky is not yet definite.)

2)         This American Life: Tween Mom

Let’s face it: A Romney administration that will cut PBS will cut Planned Parenthood as well. By following four racially and socioeconomically diverse girls, Tween Mom will chronicle the inevitable societal catastrophe of such fiscal austerity, but with the special docudrama blend of heartwarming heartbreak that’s made Teen Mom such a success. (The participation of Dr. Drew Pinsky is not yet definite.)

3)         Bill Moyers Cries

Exactly like it sounds.

4)         America’s Best Science Crew

Each week, top researchers from around the country compete before a panel of celebrity judges with the power to fully fund the grant proposal of their dreams. Judges will include head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Dr. James Hansen, Denise "Dr. Christmas Jones" Richards, and funnyman Howie Mandel.

5)         Real Companions of the Prairie Home

Have you ever sipped a class of chardonnay and wondered, “Hey, why hasn’t Robert Altman’s classic film version of A Prairie Home Companion ever been made into a reality TV show?” Well, sip no more! From celebrated writer Aaron Sorkin and Bravo programming genius Andy Cohen, all Americans can now thrill to the weekly adventures of Garrison Keillor, cowpokes Dusty and Lefty, detective Guy Noir, and former Atlanta housewife NeNe Leakes as they ruin elegant dinner parties, throw down at expensive charity events, and sling the bobcatty prairie gossip about each other.

6)         Say Yes! to the Sweater Vest, with Stacy London and Rick Santorum

Exactly like it sounds.

7)         Austin City Limits P.D.

Your favorite live-performance musical show, reimagined for the mismatched buddy-cop genre! Chuck “Norris” Bush is a straight conservative single dad, budding country singer, and by-the-book police officer. David “Bowie” Michaels is a liberal gay single dad, budding glam rock star (he’s bringin’ it back!), and by-his-gut peace maker. Each week, Chuck and David sing, bond over their adorable kids, and learn valuable lessons about tolerance and patriotism -- all while catching the bad guy of the week! Also stars Henry Rollins as the firm-yet-fair Lt. Michael “Black Flag” Sheppard.

8)         Tavis Smiley’s Last Resort

After questioning a producer’s orders to “go easy” on a rising presidential candidate, famed talk-show host and commentator Tavis Smiley finds himself abandoned -- and pursued -- by the corporate media. Taking over a small South Pacific island as his personal “no spin” zone, Tavis uses his pirate signal each week to out-“Fox” his interviewees just before their biased fact-checking hit squads reach his door. Also stars Jon Voight at Chris Matthews.

9)         Lawrence Welk’s Dubstep Dance Party

Exactly like it sounds.

10)       National Geographic’s Indigenous Girls Girl Wild

From an Inuit village in northern Alaska to a head-hunting tribe in the Amazon basin, girls just want to have fun, and National Geographic’s award-winning cameras are there! Raw, life-affirming, and educational. With host Ron Jeremy.

Exciting times ahead, my friends!


Lance Nielsen Tartikoff