Monday, 26 September 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #812: History Repeats Itself...

CBS has made a deal for a new legal drama called Legacy, and will be co-produced by Dreamworks TV.

But that's not the greasy bit about this story.  Not by a long shot.

The premise has been created by James Frey's Full Fathom Five ripoff idea factory.  So you know that it's going to be chock full of originality and creative integrity.


The premise is about a former US President who becomes a street level lawyer after leaving office.

If that doesn't sound familiar, then maybe this will jog your memory...
Still doesn't?

Well, that's not much of a surprise, since about three people actually saw the show during its truncated run on NBC in 2010.  But the show was about a conservative Supreme Court Justice quitting the highest court in the land to become a liberal street level lawyer.  Each week he'd tackle some issue that teaches him and the audience just how wrong he was to be a strict constructionist.

The problem with the show was that it was basically one big lecture about how evil you are for disagreeing with him.  The people on the right were insulted, and the people on the left were bored, and hence no one watched the show.

Those behind the show will most likely declare: "This time is different, this isn't a Supreme Court Justice, this is a President we're talking about."

And they will be full of bullshit.

It will not only be so much like its predecessor in the dustbin of TV history, it will join it there very quickly.

Here's why.

Hollywood is not known for its imagination or open mindedness, especially when it comes to "topical" or "political" subject matter.  So there are precisely two ways they'll handle this show:

1.  The ex-President will be a conservative Republican who has a "Road To Beverly Hills Damascus" moment and like Outlaw, become a liberal lawyer out to undo all the evil things he did while in office.


2.  The ex-President will be a liberal Democrat who goes around lecturing people about how evil and stupid they are for disagreeing with him about the issues tackled on his show every week.

Now how will this end up?

Conservatives will be insulted.

Liberals will be bored.

Neither will watch the show.

But that's not all that I think will doom this project to failure.  There's also the way it's been created...

Now if you've read my past writings on Frey and his so-called Full Fathom Five scheme, I made a fairly obvious prediction. 

The FF5 contract is designed to keep those who actually burn the calories creating the material in a state of relative anonymity in comparison with their padrone, with no rights or control over their creations, and a profit share plan that consists of the steam off James Frey's pee.  I predicted that such a contract will keep Frey's scribbling serfs from bringing their "A Game."

Turns out, I was half right.  They're not even bringing their "B," "C," or "D," game.  We are in strictly "Z Game" territory.

Sticking to the upper echelons of the alphabet means that the peons will at least be ripping off and mashing up previously successful franchises.  His I Am Number Four was a mash up of Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Twilight, so you could understand it having a chance to succeed.  However this project is a pretty blatant rip-off of what was an obviously bad idea that only someone living in the rarefied air of Hollywood could think would sell. 

But Frey will be getting paid, which means even more of his sleazy Full Fathom Five nonsense in the future.  Which makes an already bad idea even worse.

There must be something in the water over at CBS these days.


  1. There has been exactly one president who went back to private law after his term in office. Adams, whose position as lawyer was fairly ably depicted in Amistad.

    And a president? That's even more bogus than a Supreme Court Justice who, since they have their office for life, have no reason to leave it for the street.

    It doesn't even sound interesting from the start. I would be more interested in a show about a successful conservative D.A. who came to Jesus (figuratively) and went freelance trying to get all the people freed that he, so wrongly, had convicted during his term in office. I mean I still wouldn't like that show, but it sounds more interesting than a president. Jeeze.

    Here in Dallas we actually HAD a D.A. who spent many taxpayer dollars trying to get crooks unconvicted that his predecessor had sent up. He claimed the moral high ground but it seems to me that he's doing the wrong job.

  2. James Frey, as a aspiring screenwriter I would not want to do business with the man who lied to Oprah. That already shows He lacks any integrity now I rips of another networks bad idea, I suspect he just did this just to see how much network money he can get until his little operation goes under.

    I also suspect terra nova will have a short lifespan due to the fact.

    It is on FOX, they have a bad history with SF shows. Space:Above and Beyond was preempted into oblivion, Terminator has a strong opening then collapsed and Firefly was just plain screwed over.

    I expect to see TN get preempted in 3 weeks for some award show honoring Snooki. Then the execs will complain that TR is not getting the ratings.

  3. Ha, that Outlaw thing is *exactly* what I thought of when I heard about this show. Hilarious, isn't it?

  4. Gary -- I loved Firefly too, but screwing aside, there is no way in heck a space western was going to draw an audience two to three times what Buffy did, which is what it would have needed to survive on a real network rather than UPN/CW.

    People dance around the real issue: the reason Fox has a "bad record" on such shows is that they put on stuff like Firefly that from a purely objective stance shouldn't have gotten on the air in the first place. Sci-Fi is one of the hardest genres to find an audience for; for every X-Files or Heroes there are several dozen (new) Night Stalkers or The Capes. So kudos to Fox for taking chances on such long shot material in the first place.

  5. Outlaw??

    Man, it must have been incredibly bad to not even be mentioned on Big Hollywood as the leftist agit prop that it obviously was.

    I suspect there's a conservative mole in the programming department who set up someone with this one. Looks like he/she is going for doubles with the President thing.