Series Pitch: "The Halloween Episodes"
Haven't posted in a while. Like James, I have been trying different things to see if I could create some value for myself via the Internet. Nothing is working; that's okay, I like the challenge and the intellectual exercise of it all. I just apologize that I don't post here as often as I should. I did concede at the beginning that this could happen - i.e., post a few times then go latent for a long time - but still, sorry I have not contributed more content. I like to be supportive of platforms when I can (sometimes health issues interfere, especially depression, which can really hamper writing).
Anyway, I tried this over at Medium and got zero reads. Not sure how that site really works. I thought I would turn my article into a list over here. Yes, that is a cheat, but has James given a rigid definition of what a list really is, and, more specifically, what a list is by Notepd standards? Obviously, I do not know.
So forgive me upfront, if you will. I pitch the following, and if anyone is connected to Hollywood and wants to think more about this, contact me, please (hey, I have a debt, and it would be helpful!).
1. The Halloween Episodes
This would be a series for streaming. I think the streaming medium would work best; I don't believe broadcast/cable would like a more unique, niche idea such as this. (I should say, it's unique to me when I thought it; if anyone has already heard of this concept somewhere else, please let me know; I did some searching and could not come up with an analogue, if that is the term I want.)
2. The Premise
The premise of "The Halloween Episodes" would be that it runs for ten episodes, and each episode is the Halloween episode of a fictional sitcom. My basis: it seems as if viewers tend to like the Halloween episodes the best of any series, or at least anticipate them the most. Think "Simpsons", "Roseanne," "Home Improvement," "Modern Family."
3. The Episodes
So consider this: each episode of the real series represents a Halloween episode of a season from the fictional series. What this means is that, since the real series runs ten episodes, the fictional series likewise runs ten episodes.
4. The value of my setup
Think about it: let's pretend the fictional series is like "Modern Family" or "The Big Bang Theory" and broadcasts about 22 episodes per season. That would be a hypothetical 200+ episodes. But --- my series would only show the Halloween episodes, and in so doing, we would get hints about what's going on in the rest of the series universe. To me, that's a novelty that is both quaint and of high entertainment value; it could even generate conversation around digital watercoolers (and maybe real ones, too, if people finally return to the office!).
5. The value of the execution
As time goes on, we would watch the evolution of the characters. Maybe the first few episodes will have the same cast of children. But, as the cast ages, new thespians could be brought on to handle the aging process. (Or maybe it will be AI at this point?) We would also learn stuff about what's happening in the other episodes...someone gets a new job, someone gets a mid-life crisis, someone passes on, et cetera. Again, this might be a cool hook for streaming audiences, and problems that happen in other episodes end up being used as Halloween-episode plot points: let's say someone (the mother) loses a job in one of the imaginary episodes that was run a few weeks before one particular Halloween iteration: perhaps a plotline would be for the mother to scare/prank her former employer, only to end up scaring the person to death and then being rehired because the new boss hated the old boss! Think along those lines.
6. More seasons and/or Spinoff potential
I know you thought of this even before I got here. Once "The Halloween Episodes" finishes its first season, what would the next season be like? There are two possibilities: another set of Halloween shows for another fictional series (could even be a drama/thriller/fantasy show in addition to a comedy), or a set of Halloween shows with each one representing a unique series (this, for obvious reasons, could keep talent costs down). Or: what if other holidays were explored? "The Thanksgiving Episodes." "The Christmas Episodes." The New Year's Eve Episodes." "The School Vacation Episodes." The "Fourth of July Episodes." You get the picture. And what about other types of potential spinoffs: what if one of the fictional series was actually made into a real series by, say, Netflix? Or, let's say Netflix owns the series I am pitching, likes one of the imaginary series, but doesn't want to commit capital to making the leap from imaginary to real: it could sell the concept to another streamer/production company. Or, let's say it does want to invest in it, but wants to spread financial risk and simultaneously expand its business model: it could produce it for another streamer and then eventually bring it back to Netflix or syndicate it elsewhere. (By the way, although I believe this works best on streaming, it still might have a chance if it proved itself initially and then, via the spinoff model I just described, was pitched to cablers/broadcasters (ABC, etc.) by Netflix.)
7. That's my pitch!
I really do think this could work. Again, though, has the idea already been done by someone else? Anyway, let me know what you think! I appreciate the read...and if anyone (an agent, manager, producer) is interested, please contact me!