Every time I see a new reality show advertised on TV, I think “Why didn’t I think of that?” They’re brilliant in their own way. Their job is to make a lot of people watch television advertising, and they do it well.
I spend way too much time fantasizing about pitching my own reality show concept to TV executives. I’ve actually been in TV pitch meetings (for Dilbert) and they are like no business meeting you’ve ever seen. Allow me to paint the picture.
TV pitch meetings are brief, maybe ten minutes long, and no one is writing anything down. Usually the meeting happens in an executive’s huge office, in the sitting area. There’s no conference table, just a couch and several chairs. You might have eight or ten people in the room. There are usually about four TV studio executives. On the pitching team, you usually have an agent or two, usually a writer or two, and maybe a director, or producer, or some combination.
The dress code is fascinating. The executives and the agents dress in expensive business attire. The creative people can wear anything. They signal the strength of their accomplishments by the degree of casualness in their appearance. Ratty t-shirts and old sneakers are normal.
After the frighteningly insincere greetings comes the pitch. You only have a few minutes to put your idea into words. If it doesn’t come across in a few sentences, the executives know it won’t come across in a ten second ad for the show. A pitch might go like this:
“It’s called ‘Endowed.’ A woman has to choose either a man with a huge fortune and a small penis, or a poor man who is sporting an anaconda. The kicker is that the woman is recently divorced, and her ex has to agree on her selection.”
“It’s called ‘Fraud.’ Contestants pretend to be experts in various jobs, from attorney, to plastic surgeon, to plumber, to car salesman. They compete to see who can overcharge a customer the most before revealing their true identities.”
Now it’s your turn. Give me the two-sentence pitch for your reality show.
[Please don’t leave comments saying you don’t enjoy reality shows. I respect that opinion but it won’t add anything to the blog.]