Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Radical Proposal for Television Programming

At the University, we were encouraged to be innovative, to think "outside the box." Never mind the hackneyed expression . . . . but here's an idea that I have that you might consider.

Television has been routinely criticized for its failings. Specifically, it counts these offenses, real or exaggerated:

1) Programming is directed mostly to the lowest common denominator.

2) It has little appeal to the elderly.

3) Negligible appeal to males between the ages of 18 and 25, other than sports programming. Thus, this lucrative market is untapped for advertising consumer products.

4) It has little entertainment value.

And, more recently,

5) Network television is not "gay enough."

My proposal is this: Have a competition between universities regarding their teams' ability to remember basic facts of culture and science. Each week, two universities randomly paired off in a general information quiz program. If any question goes unanswered, a buzzer sounds, and the name of a show tune flashes on the screen.

Members of the team that fails to answer the question have two options: either strip off an article of clothing, or sing the show tune that was flashed on the screen.

This, folks, is a win-win prospect:

If the team members elect to sing the tune, the elderly are entertained.

If they choose to strip, instead, the young female demographic is entertained by the show, and the young males by the current practice of "shaming." Especially if the tune in question is "I Feel Pretty."

Naturally, the audience might learn from the answers to the questions, even if they are inevitably disappointed by correct answers. Therefore, the show has some educational content

What do you think of this? Is this a winner?


  1. A definite winner, if it wasn't for the show tunes.

  2. I think that older people, particularly the New York crowd, like show tuneds as long as Stephen Sondheim or Bob Fosse are involved.