Think about it.... (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
So NBC seems to have a problem.
Should Brian Williams come back?
That is a lot of money to pay someone not to work.
And Williams does seem to have some sort of following, if only amongst NBC executives.
But here's my idea.
NBC puts the whole $30 million into a briefcase -- or, more likely, a steamer trunk.
That's a lot of cash.
Then they present the briefcase or steamer trunk to Brian, and he opens it up.
"That's a lot of money!" he says. Particularly for someone who has not had a salary for half a year.
But now they say, "Brian, you can keep all of this money, or you can give some of it, as much or as little as you want, to this needy family." And here we cut to a video of a family who is about to lose their home because the dad lost his job (just like Brian) and can't make the mortgage payments.
What does Brian do?
Does he keep all of the money, or does he rescue the poor family from a life on the street?
It's a good premise for a show.
But that's just the start!
Because next week we have a family with a child with a possibly operable brain tumor, but it's going to cost a lot of money, and Mom just lost her job down at the 7-11. "Hey, Brian. What do you want to do? It's $250,000 to save the kid's life. You can save this child's life, or you can buy yourself this new car! What do you want to do?"
Thirteen weeks of fun!
This might sound like a morbid foundation for a TV series, but of course it is entirely based on the rather heinous concept for CBS's new series, The Briefcase (airing Wednesdays on most CBS stations), which The Guardian referred to as "poverty porn."
There, a poor family is forced, on camera, to make a similar choice between keeping the money themselves or helping out a needier family.
As CBS seems to have the poverty-porn market covered, let NBC capture the high ground (currently unoccupied) of what we might call "1-percenter porn."
In The Briefcase, the family only has to agonize over $101,000 -- lunch money (not even) to the likes of Brian Williams. But come on. Thirty million dollars? Now we have a show everyone can get behind.
And... it gets Brian back on the air.
What do you think?
I would, of course, be more than happy to produce it.
NBC, are you listening?