Monday, 5 May 2014

Hollywood Babble On & On #1144: Where Did These Ideas Come From?

Today I'm taking a moment to talk about two ideas that are making me wonder where the hell they came from.


In case you're under the age of 40 Green Acres was about a rich big city lawyer played by Eddie Albert, who has some sort of a stroke, or a brain tumour and decides to drag his glamorous shopaholic wife, played by Eva Gabor, to go to a town called Hooterville, whose smartest citizen is a pig named Arnold, and become farmers. The rest of the series is based on the premise that the easily conned city lawyer would do farm chores not only incompetently, but while wearing a three-piece business suit.

The show ran for six seasons without any characters other than Arnold learning anything, and was a modest ratings winner but that couldn't save it from the infamous CBS "Rural Purge" that stripped the cornpone from the network in favour of more urbane and urban-set fare.

The show ran for a while in syndicated and cable re-runs, but faded quickly from the public zeitgeist to anyone else but the most extremely nostalgic baby boomers.

Which is probably why someone in Hollywood thinks it would make a good movie. The same thinking that made Mr. Peabody & Sherman such a smash for Dreamworks Animation costing them a whopping $57 million write down. They look at stuff that they have the rights to and figure that's good enough because it's thought to be safer than doing something original.

What a load of something Eddie Albert would have shovelled while wearing a three piece suit.


Spike TV the channel for 18-34 year old males who are interested in storage locker auctions and bar management has given the green light to a scripted event series on the life of Egyptian child-pharoah Tutankhamen.

Where did this idea come from?

I'd really like to know because it illustrates what I think is a fundamental flaw in Spike's management, they don't know what the hell they're doing.

The format of the channel is supposed to be shows aimed at males ages 18-34. Sounds simple, but it isn't or we'd all be hearing how Spike's the centre of the young male zeitgeist. I don't know how Spike USA is run, but Spike's broadcasts in Canada are a dog's breakfast. New shows are hyped, but not aired for months, then dumped in a one-day marathon and never shown until months later at the next one-day marathon, and shows that were cancelled years ago still being rerun three times daily until the tape wears out.

If the American Spike channel is anything like the Canadian one I wonder how they're able to get anything to last more than a handful of episodes.

Which brings me to my question about the King Tut series.


It sounds like a project more befitting The History Channel, and something that would drive away Spike's usual audience of people wanting to see other people yelling at each other. Spike is better known for chasing the lowest common denominator  in scripted shows like Stripperella while being unable to close the deal on actually reaching that denominator because there are limits to what a basic cable channel can show.

Which means that audiences who might be interested in King Tut's story aren't likely to trust Spike TV to tell that story.

Which brings me back to Why?

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