Monday, April 6, 2009

Ape-ril is the Cruelest Monk

We're going to break rank for a bit, and talk about a show from an intellectually bankrupt network OTHER than NBC–the curiously successful folks over at CBS. Last week, in honor of April Fools' Day and a huge void in their weeknight lineup, the Eye ran show entitled "I Get That a Lot," which hit upon the savory ruse of employing semi-celebrities in menial jobs, who, when they're recognized by the hoi polloi–here's the kicker–DENY that they are in fact their desperate, attention-starved selves, vainly propping up their wounded egos at the expense of a gullible public.
One can only imagine the earth-shaking lunacy of encountering Jeff Probst bagging goods at the local greengrocer:

"Dude, you're on 'Survivor' or something!"
"I get that a lot!"
"No way!...Ah fuck it, just watch it with those cage-free eggs, all right, chief?"

Now there's one obvious way to increase the hilarity factor here: replace the celebrities with apes. (This is a rule that can be followed with pretty much everything.) When a baffled customer complains about the simian staff, the other employees would, of course, pretend that the ape is in fact a human being, who is most definitely not eating the bananas, smearing feces on the produce scale and trying on the adult diapers. THEN we'd have some compelling shenanigans.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Kingdom For a Monkey

Well, it's been quite a fortnight. First we were sent reeling with the news that "Kings" not only involved a real kingdom, but a real kingdom BASED ON A BIBLE STORY, only to have the coup de grace come in the form of "Kings" actually being a VERY GOOD SHOW. Of course, NBC promoted it like a cross between "Dallas" and "Models, Inc." (with just a winsome dash of "Cruesoe," so no surprise: it tanked in the ratings and probably won't last the quarter, alas. Here's a surefire winner no matter how you market it.

Rhesus's Pieces
A burned-out homicide detective, Zebulon Pike (Dermot Mulroney) discovers a second chance: an autistic rhesus monkey with the uncanny ability to pick out pertinent clues, no matter how mundane or minute, from any murder scene. With the help of his sister (Anna Faris), a professor studying animal sign language, Zeb races against time to interpret the clues and catch the killer.

Tagline: Some crimes are a real monkey puzzle.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Capuchin That Wheel!

There's been a modicum of talk circulating recently to the effect that cash-poor, idea-bankrupt broadcast networks will need to rely on relatively cheap reality and game show fare to fill the programming void in the foreseeable future. Of course, our position is that by green-lighting one of the fabulous fictional enterprises compiled on this site, networks will create a virtual cash machine that will last generations. But, to prove that we can roll with the times if we have to:

Deal or Bonobo Deal
This would be identical to Howie Mandel's avaricious monument, only the hot models would be replaced by ornery bonobos. And the briefcases they carry would be full of their poop, not money. Hosted by Howie Mandel

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tragedy Strikes

Many of you are no doubt wondering about the reason for our hiatus, and the answer is, obviously, we here at NBCMS have been working through our shock and grief over the TV Chimp Slayings in Connecticut. We hesitate to add to the torrent of words and images revolving around this sad, sad affair, but it is incumbent upon ourselves to note that, had there been a system of monkey television shows in place for this isolated, troubled chimp, he would have had a safety net of friends, work, and possibly even artistic satisfaction, with which to keep the crazies at bay.
Something like this would have kept him busy:

For those readers of too tender an age, this would be a remake of the 80s helicopter-action thriller "Airwolf." It starred Ernest Borgnine, and will do so again.

Tagline: Only one ape's man enough to fly this thing.

KINGS UPDATE: According to what we've gleaned from commercials, NBC's latest folly stars Ian McShane grumbling about "his kingdom," which is apparently not metaphorical, but an actual place.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Time-Ape Continuum

Viewers, we hang our remotes in shame. Last Sunday night we neglected to watch NBC's latest barn-burner "XIII," starring the future governor of New Mexico and that guy who plays golf on his knees, despite our most earnest intentions. Why? Because the good people over at the C-Dub were showing Teen Wolf, that's why! Listen up, 30 Rock office-dwellers: the other guys are bringing out the big guns. You can't afford to trot out any old Roman-numeral caper you've got lying around anymore, savvy? You've got to "up your game" in the parlance of the competition show. And what better way to "outfox" the other guys than with this:

Silverback to the Future
A renegade scientist (Michael Cerveris), convinced that the cure for a worldwide plague epidemic lies in mankind's Neanderthal past, sends his most capable test subject–McFly, a silverback gorilla, carrying some Neanderthal genes–back to the prehistoric era. Now, the primate must blend in with his distant ancestors, while discovering the secret to the salvation (and, perhaps, the origin) of humanity. McFly must also contend with the leader of a vicious band of Homo Sapiens (Lance Henriksen), who has his own ideas about the course of evolution.

Tagline: Survival of the fittest just got a lot more complicated.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Name of the Ape

So if there's one thing the Super Bowl made abundantly clear, it's that NBC should give Bruce Springsteen and Little Stevie their own show–they certainly outshine Rosie O'Donnell when it comes to vaudeville pizazz, razzle-dazzle and even, dare we suggest, bejazzle.
Anyway, our pitch this time takes inspiration from the soon-to-be-concluded (this Sunday at 9, right?) religious swashbuckler "The Last Templar."

The Cross of the Capuchins
A rambunctious divinity student (Bret Harrison) discovers a secret order of Capuchin monks--consisting entirely of Capuchin monkeys--founded centuries ago by the animal-loving Franciscan order. Its mission: to protect religious secrets deemed too earth-shaking for human minds. But now the simian brothers and the lore they safeguard have been targeted by a shadowy religious organization with mysterious motives. It's up to Harrison to protect the holy primates from this new threat--and from a nosy Opus Dei priest (Colm Meany) intent on exposing the monkey monastery.

Tagline: The missing link must not be found.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chimp off the old block

While distractedly watching last Sunday's primetime event "The Last Templar"--here's our impression:

Old Guy: The precious manuscript!
Knight: Where hast thou put the sacred decoder ring, varlet?
Mira Sorvino: (in dress, riding horse) Clop, clop, clop!

--got us thinking about NBC's other feat of programming legerdemain: the reboot of Knight Rider (on Saturday nights, we think). Now, why on Zod's green earth would some network honcho de-mothball an old show without taking the obvious and necessary step of adding a primate? You know, just to shake things up. Consider think about the possibilities:

Monkey Brewster
If the show's a non-starter, it could be retooled midseason as a sitcom about an enterprising chimp who makes his own beer. Win-win!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Afternoon fastball

Just to prove that we here at NBCMS can throw out familiar, mass-appeal projects with the best of Studio City's imagination engineers , we give you this shopworn yet gangbusters idea:

Chimp My Ride
The title pretty much speaks for itself.
Hosted by Dane Cook

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Studio 60 on the Sunset Chimp

Once again, apologies for the lag; we have been holed up in the NBCMS laboratory, working out the fractions involved with "2 1/2 Men." After much interdepartmental squabble, we have ruled in the interest of equality (and our overworked sliderules), setting each protagonist's male quotient at slightly over .8, with the minority report wishing it stated that this seems slightly unfair to Jon Cryer.
Also in old business from last post, it should be noted here that there exists a distinct possibility that the reclusive Sexton Fogg is in fact an ape.
This newest pitch also revolves around the fraught human/monkey relationship amidst high-pressure circumstances:

The Monkey's Uncle
When little-known actor (Breckin Meyer) is brought in as the replacement host of an immensely popular children's television show (Uncle Chuckle's Teatime Treehouse), he thinks he's got it made. Little does he know that his main duty will be dealing with the real star of the show--an egomaniacal, pill-addicted, violently unhappy chimp, G.L. Fudge. Will the rookie Chuckle learn how to play "second banana," while keeping his unpredictable co-host happy and in line? Everyone's got a lot to learn in this rousing behind-the-scenes comedy-drama.

Tagline: Family is more than skin deep.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Ape

Yes, it's been entirely too long since our last pitch. What can we say: we here at NBCMS have just as much trouble tearing ourselves away from the Peacock Network's dizzying array of Howie Mandel projects, weight-loss extravaganzas and baffling historical epics as you do. (What on earth will the upcoming "Kings" entail?) And so, since we all have programs to watch, we'll cut right to the pitch:

In a disturbing near-future, America's uneasy coalition of corporate overlords and shady political cabals must rely on an elite, covert squad of simian agents to defend the besieged homeland from its manifold foes. When a rookie human handler (Lukas Haas) is ushered into the squad's byzantine world of espionage, assassinations, double-crosses and coups, he must learn to manage his unpredictable agents, while figuring out where his own (and their) allegiances lie. Also starring Will Arnett as the voice of the group's reclusive, enigmatic founder, Sexton Fogg.

Tagline: Welcome to the jungle.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Now the work begins

Now that the fires kindled by rhetoric have had some time to cool, it's time to take a square, pragmatic look at our situation. What are the facts? NBC is beyond desperate for new shows; a monkey show at the very least could generate a bump in Internet buzz; therefore NBC could be convinced to mount a simian series in the near future. (For the record, we here at NBCMS are quite excited over the Peacock Network's forthcoming "movie event" "The Last Templar.")
But now to the sticking point: how will we manage this thing? For though we have some minor connections in the mass media, television folk we most certainly are not. But it is our Chicago hope that some executive at 30 Rock (the address, not the show, though someone from the latter would be welcome as well,) will stumble across this campaign whilst maniacally trolling for new material, validation, or open bar listings. And in preparation for just that august, genre-defining moment, we will gradually compile a roster, a veritable Seattle Slew, of open-source monkey-show pitches, free for the taking. (We also welcome any underemployed writers willing to run with any of the concepts that will appear herein, though we could be convinced to act as consultants.) So without further ado, on with the show.

Monkey See, Frankie Do
An elderly yet still virile private investigator, Frankie Mencken (Rutger Hauer), blinded in a mysterious accident and violently phobic of dogs, reluctantly accepts the aid of an unusually expressive seeing-eye chimp. Will this set-in-his ways curmudgeon adjust to his new life and his new best friend? And together, will they be able to solve the murders, corruption and delusion that surround them in 1960s Berkley? No one will see what's coming in this comedy-action-mystery hourlong adventure.

Tagline: This monkey sees plenty of evil. And Frankie's gonna stop it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monkifesto 2009

In many ways, this effort owes its existence to Rosie O'Donnell. Not her blithe performance in "Sleepless in Seattle," nor her affinity for Koosh balls, and certainly not her man-crush on Tom Cruise. (Though we admit these things to have played a role in our lives.)
It was O'Donnell's recent return to broadcast television that set off the chain of events that would lead to the formation of this campaign. Watching in astonishment as Rosie cavorted on stage with a rabid Liza Minnelli, and later indulged in synchronized Segway shenanigans, a notion struck us with the force of an off-kilter C flat major: NBC has reached the point where they will put anything on television. Granted, this conclusion had been brewing for some time; the hourlong serial starring Christian Slater as a guy who kicks the living shit out of himself every night and wonders why he's sleeping with his clothes on (or something,) should have tipped everyone off. More recently, a program that appears to be solely devoted to chiseled, sweaty Irish dancers has only driven the point home.
Beleaguered citizens of TV Land, we cite these things not to depress or befuddle you–for, like the great executives of old: Moonves, Tarkitoff, Murdoch, we see in this time of despair, delusion and frenzy an opportunity, a chance for a legend to spring forth , for the return of a storied being, for myth to become flesh. O frustrated viewers, now is the time to shuck off our lassitude and make it happen: by 1st quarter 2010 we will at last get a monkey show on the air.