He said he'd be back, and here he is. At the MIP-TV television market in Cannes, France, one of the children's series up for sale is The Governator, a little retirement project for former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The animated program combines all his previous careers -- bodybuilder, action hero and politician -- as Arnold portrays (wait for it...) a retired Governor living a quiet life in Brentwood, California, but with a hidden crime-fighting identity (and a lair full of fantastic "green" vehicles and inventions created by his teen sidekicks). According to an interview in Kidscreen, the star says the series lets him play out "what frustrated him most about his life as governor and what he couldn't do that he now can."
Already, Schwarzenegger's colleagues -- current and former Governors -- are descending on Hollywood to pitch their unique and compelling stories. Here are a few that my sources tell me are making the rounds:
Unlike the other Governors' concepts, The Tim Pawlenty Show will not be animated.
Minnesota's Governor before Pawlenty, Jesse Ventura, was pitching a science series -- a modern update of "Slim Goodbody" -- but executives thought it skewed too old and the basic concept needed firming up.
Haley Barbour's series' unique element is that it's shot in black and white.
Mitch Daniels is trying to work out the problem that his episodes run a little short.
There's interest in Chris Christie's cartoon series, but it has a technical problem -- broadcasters can't get it to run!
Rod Blagojevich is pitching a syndicated show, available only for barter. Terms highly negotiable.
The Jerry Brown Show is already in reruns.
Scott Walker has a series to pitch, but broadcasters need to know that it's not "FCC friendly" (aka "Educational/Informational"), as Walker refused to pay for curriculum advisors.
Paul LePage is taking a different approach -- he's made his show for radio, having rejected all the art work presented to him.
Rick Scott has dropped his pitch, since the licensing and merchandising people kept trying to convince him to include a train.
His predecessor, Charlie Crist, though, has what appears to be a winning preschool concept -- helping kids who are confused about the difference between left and right.
In Sarah Palin's animated series, every 11 minute episode ends after 6 minutes.
TV executives are a little concerned that this trend might spread to other politicians, especially if deficit hawks try to prove that paring back public broadcasting's development budget needn't diminish quality programming. Rumor has it that Joe Lieberman was spotted shopping for a cardigan and sneakers, and that behind the doors of the budget negotiations, Paul Ryan could be heard cackling, "One! One more year before you get Medicare! Ha ha ha! Two! Two million new private sector jobs!"
This posting reflects the personal views of its author, and not necessarily the views of the American Center for Children and Media or its supporters.