Original Ideas for TV Shows

Perhaps my creativity muscles have atrophied.

As a little light workout, who amongst us came come up with an original, completely original idea for a TV series?

Allow me to start.

I have a friend here in Saudi named Marwan. He speaks beautiful English but has never been to the US. He is quite the AQ sympathizer (really).

Let’s put him on a bus, give him a crew and let him spend a year discovering and reporting on America.

Waddya think?

Well, I was going to go with Monster Mobile Home, kind of a combo between Monster Garage and Monster House - have the guys fix it up in a theme and pit it against the real thing while the family watches the results on closed circuit TV from inside their newly remodelled living room while it does it’s thing.

I’m thinking of pitting a mobile home against, say, a submarine. Or the goodyear blimp. Or one of those chunnel-diggin machines.

But then, it’s a combination of two existing TV shows, so it’s not original enough.

I don’t know how well your friend would fare in America, but it’d be a damn entertaining TV show! Kind of Big Brother meets the Dell Interns on a Road Trip commercial meets Jerry Springer. I like it.

I like the idea, except lets change it to where you give me a good motorcycle, let me just go and stop where ever I feel like it. A real American journy, covering all 50 states, hey, there’s 50 weeks in a year. I’ll see all the sites I can from National Parks to the biggest ball of twine and everything else. I’ll stay in Mom-n-Pop hotels, eat at the same. I think I could live like this for a few years at least.

Then after that, since I know it will be a great show, let me start on Europe, then Australia, Asia, Africa and South America. I can do a good show. Now where do I sign up at?

I heard of a GREAT program on BBC of late.

Some world-champ chief agrees to take a dozen or so unemployed young people under his arm and teach them to cook at the professional level. Such training is a sure-thing for a good job.

But of course it is darn hard work.

Follow them as the druggies freak out, the single mom hangs on and all of them fall asleep in the break room.

Not at all original, but it would fly like an eagle in the States!

This one’s based on a play I wrote:

A bunch of wacky freaks, including a poet with a huge blue afro, a transvestite geisha, and a human with a rabbit head, all work together in a bookstore and battle evil customers and evil managers. It’s kind of different.

Or, this one which I wrote when I was bored in junior high school: Teresa, a 14 year old, is walking home from school one day when she meets a homeless man named Evan. She brings him home with her and her parents let him move in, as long as he watches and guards her all the time. This comes in handy when Teresa is held hostage twice: Once by the insane tap dancer Madre Escuchar, and later by Bo Frank, her boyfriend who proposes to her and kidnaps her when she says no. The series is the story of Teresa’s wacky adventures while Evan always has to save her.

I used to come up with sitcom ideas for fun when I was, like, 12. Don’t ask me about the one I named “M.M. Ice Skating with Fu Sta”.

Cool Post.

I have two,

The most original would be a reality series where you’re given $5k in cash, and you have to flee and hide out for as long as you can before you’re caught by the various retired professional bounty hunters, skip tracers, and law enforcement we have on staff. Whoever makes it longest for the season gets some huge amount of money. I’d call it “Hunted.” If anyone developing new TV shows wants to do lunch over this one, let me know.

The second would be something along the lines of the show that they use for the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Get groups of people to run bizzarre obstacle courses. Like Double Dare for adults, but more hazardous, and less campy than American Gladiators.

Ryan… while I like the “Hunted” idea, Stephen King beat you to it with “The Running Man”.

“There’s this horse, see, and he can talk, but only when his owner is around.”
“But that’s been done. It was Mr. Ed.”
“Yeah, but this horse only speaks Italian!

I’d make a show that was part reality show, part game show… the first half hour of each episode, a group of people would be inventing a hilarious and humiliating Most Extreme Elimination Challenge-style event, and building all of the necessary apparati. The second half of the show would be people participating in said event.

Actually, it could work like this: People would enter in teams. Each team would have two subteams… builders and players. The two teams of builders would be given a theme (ie, “swinging on ropes”) and would have to invent and build an infernal challenge meeting that theme. We watch them work, a la Junkyard Wars. Then each team of players would compete in the event created by the other team. There would also have to be a “challenge” rule of some sort, where if the machine built was too hard, the team that built it would be challenged, and would have to attempt it themselves.

Right you are Vlad, except I wasn’t going to have the contestants killed. Unless it was sweeps week…

Here’s an idea for a sitcom that was cooked up by a friend of mine. I take neither the credit, not the blame:

Two diehard fundamentalist Christians move to Israel’s West Bank and open up a cheese shop. The series title: “Cheeses of Nazareth.”


I had an idea for a game show, but on a very large scale. You get three teams of two people, give them a few grand each and a round the world air ticket, and then set them various challenges. Challenges could be anything that would force the teams to travel, but every flight they take has to be heading westerly, so they have to work it out carefully. You could have challenges like stand on a wonder of the world, cross one of the worlds five largest rivers in a boat etc. and could also include things like shake hands with someone who has walked on the moon. As a twist, if you complete a quest, that item is off limits to the other teams. So if one team gets to the great wall of china, they complete the challenge. If a second team gets there, it doesn’t count (although they wouldn’t find this out till they get there).

They have to get all around the world and back to where they started without running out of money. Whichever team completes the most challenges wins.

I like the idea of an Anti-FRIENDS. Five 20something pals who don’t live in Manhattan (in fact they live in a third-tier city that’s never identified), don’t live in chic huge lofts (in fact they all still live with their parents), and who work in McJobs instead of as grossly overpaid people with a desk you see once ever twenty episodes. I think many more people could relate to that than to most sit-coms.


An Anti-WILL & GRACE: a gay brother and his straight Fundamentalist sister jointly inherit the family’s business (restaurant? printing? amusement park?) and have to make a go of it together. Both need the money and both are too stubborn to let go of their half of the business (plus, while they’d never ever admit it, they genuinely like each other) and neither is all-good, all-evil, “the right one” or “the wrong one”.

Modification of above: it’s not a business that they inherit but the family house (or the family house and business). By the terms of their mother’s will (it was her great disappointment that her children did not speak) they have to share it for at least 2 years before either can share it, otherwise it goes to charity. Both siblings happen to need a place to live due to domestic break-ups and the house is worth a fortune.


A gay update of GREEN ACRES: two gay lovers inherit a large farm just as they’re laid off in Manhattan. Hilarity ensues and Ralph Monroe finally comes out of the closet (though she hasn’t finished building it yet).

Ryan Mahoney, your “Hunted” idea is similar to a proposed series that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were to have executive produced for ABC called “The Runner”. I’m fuzzy on the details, but I don’t think the person was given a set amount of money, but they were either given 12 or 24 hours lead time before the trackers came after them or they hid in a set location known to the producers.

The trackers were the contestants rather than the runner. Guess that added to the contest nature of the show.

ABC pulled the show before it aired, since in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the search for other Al-Qaeda members living in the country, airing a game show based around tracking someone down could have been deemed in poor taste.