Friday, November 21, 2008

Pitch Your TV Show

Sean Carroll of Cosmic Variance attended the Hollywood launch of the Science and Entertainment Exchange and came away with a great idea: The Cosmic Variance Elevator Pitch Contest.

The idea is to give a brief pitch for your idea for a TV show - brief as in the length of time you might spend in an elevator with CBS CEO Les Moonves, or at most 100 words - that's based on science. Here is what you should keep in mind:
Most importantly: Les Moonves’s goal in life is not to make science look good. It’s to make money. So don’t pitch that this show would make the world a better place, or make science seem interesting; convince him that it’s exciting to everyone and will attract millions of eyeballs.

Use the science. For our purposes, we’re less interested in a show idea that tacks on some science to make things sound cool, as we are in a concept that couldn’t happen without the science.

Story is paramount. As much as we love accuracy and realism, there has to be a compelling narrative. You need to convince Moonves that people will be emotionally connected to the characters and their situation.
It can be any genre, so fire up your imagination and pitch your show in the post's comments. The winner will receive an excellent Cosmic Variance T-shirt.

Here's my idea:
Friends in a top university molecular biology lab. Three young men and three young women - a couple of postdocs, grad students, a Sigma sales rep and a departmental administrator - find love and laughs as they run gels, hang out in the departmental lounge, attend conferences, and interact with the other wacky lab denizens. Plenty of opportunity for sight gags, such as an unbalanced ultracentrifuge “walking” through a wall or the noob grad student accidentally setting her bench on fire. And lots of opportunities for romantic situations: all-night sample collecting in the cold room, working closely in the darkroom, or a mixup that puts our male and female postdoc in the same hotel room at the AAAS conference. And what holds them together is their love/hate relationship with their research.
I'd watch it, anyway.

(via Adventures in Ethics and Science)

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1 comment:

IGPNicki said...

Okay, so my idea is clearly not up to me to decide and i'm not even a big fan, but why haven't they made a Matrix TV series? Of all the movies to turn into series, this one makes sense. It could have all new characters. It could be set almost entirely in the making, meaning that it'd be relatively cheap to shoot. Anyways, that's just my two cents...