Sunday, 23 August 2015

Upfronts by Naomi Elana Zener

Los Angeles, CA—At this week’s upfronts, every major television network showcased its wares to the media, advertising, and programming buyers from agencies and international broadcasters, but the big story of the week is not what are the big procedural dramas on offer, but the counterprogramming strategy of one brave broadcaster fed up with scandals from TV’s reality fodder. The Teachable Moment Channel, best known as TMC, presented its eleventh hour Hail Mary pass to save itself from circling the drain of network death: rebranding.

“After years of relying on value-based, moralizing fare, trying to change the world one episode, one series at a time, and realizing that our standards and practices division could’ve been better at performing due diligence before we green lit programs,  we’ve come to understand that what our audiences thrive on is scandal.,” advised Skip Morals,  TMC president. “So, rather than come away with egg on our face when our network stars less than savoury pasts are exposed, we’re going to start  by showing what’s behind the curtain, divulging the proverbial Oz for what he really is.”

This fall, eyeballs on TMC will be entertained with a variety of wholesome programming, with the following three reality series being the broadcaster’s tentpole offerings:

First up is The Royals: A History of Inbreeding and Scandal, is TMC’s dark horse—the network’s first foray into educational programming. In TMC’s newest edutainment offering, viewers can expand their historical knowledge by watching how the royals of Europe and Russia kept it all in the family, and play a fun whodunit game to test their memory in the final five minutes of each episode.

Next, TMC is proud to present Girl Guides Gone Wild. Watch weekly as the courtroom battle unfolds in which the Minnesota-based girl guides troupe of 10 twelve and thirteen year old girls, stand trial for running a secret drug operation. Made infamous by their staggeringly impressive cookie sales, netting them a whopping cool five million dollars last year, the Minnesota Millionaires, as they are known, are accused of lacing their chocolate chip and peanut butter delights with MDMA.

Last is 19 Sinners and Counting, TMC’s crown jewel that will depict a whole array of nascent and recidivist reprobates living together in the Big House, where they compete for reductions in their sentences.  The show will star some of network reality TV stars who’ve had the biggest falls from D-list grace, and mixed in for fun will be some no-name felons and hardened criminals to keep the would’ve been celebs on their toes. Who will go home and who will have to serve out their jail term? The home viewing audience will decide at the end of each episode by voting online.

Hoping to bring them back into the ratings race, TMC believes that instead of presenting viewers with a buffet of would-be-goods characters, only to discover that they are secretly pedophiles, white-collar criminals, and wife beaters, they’re doubling down on supporting the underdog look for a second chance. Redemption is the new black.

© 2015. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.