This has not been a good autumn.
A few weeks ago the U.S. Government shut down. It also seems as though the TV networks shut down. You're saying the networks didn't shut down? Yeah, OK, not officially but have you seen 2013's new comedies, dramas and reality shows?
The networks are in deep trouble. They need help. I thought I'd give it a shot.
I'm a veteran TV writer. I've sold a few shows, won a few awards. Okay, I'm in my 70s now. Not a thrilling age group to pitch new ideas to the networks. TV execs look at anyone over the age of 50 like a vegan looks at an In-N-Out Double-Double burger.
But I'm throwing in my hat anyway. (If anything tips my age that "hat" phrase could be the final straw. Oops, "final straw" isn't helping either.)
Anyway, here are my pilot show pitches for the 2014 fall season.
Follows the comedy escapades of four struggling anvil salesmen.
THE HIRSCHFELDS AND THE McCOYS
Deals with 150 years of a mountain feud between the McCoys and the one Jewish Family in the Ozarks. Honor, vengeance, intermarriage, gun-running and blintzes. Season one ends with a shotgun Bat-Mitzvah.
A one-man show based on the life of Benjamin Bernanke.
FISH OUT OF WATER
Osgood Terwilliger, a failed paper-clip salesman with a bad back, a nasal condition, a peanut allergy and a fear of goggles, decides to become a Navy Seal.
THE HISTORY OF POULTRY
Film footage, grainy photos, and clucking sounds. A 10-part documentary in the style of Ken Burns.
THE GOD SQUAD
A minister, a priest and a Rabbi -- no, they don't walk into a bar but this trio live together in a beat-up RV on the outskirts of Vegas solving the problems of drifters, hookers and depressed lounge singers.
STARS TALK SCARS
Ordinary people bring their medical problems to a celebrity personality. On any given week
you might view: Liam Neeson discussing Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Robin Thicke on Heat Rash, Reese Witherspoon on Plaque Buildup, Vin Diesel on Tattoo Removal and Zach Galifianakis on Prescription Drug Coverage.
Members of the House of Representatives try to answer questions from college entrance exams. They fail.
Gary Jettig, Princeton grad, IQ of 293, Nobel Prize candidate is about to invent a cure for cancer but is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family fish business in Staten Island.
RESULT: The network turned all my ideas down. I'm blaming ageism.