NBC's grand experiment to cram Jay Leno down the faceholes of the American primetime audience ended this past weekend when it was announced that Leno's 10:00pm show would be axed following the Winter Olympics. The scuttlebutt at this point is that Leno will be offered his old time slot at 11:35pm, with Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon's shows getting bumped back a half hour or more.
At this point, most observers are curious about how Conan O'Brien will react to this move, which is a humiliating demotion in all but name. I'm less interested in that angle, because as a Conan fan for years, I think it's obvious how he'll react to the news (in a cascade of tears, he'll attempt to drive his car into the ocean but will end up getting stuck in the sand, 50 yards from the water's edge. While attempting to flee from the gathering crowds of reporters and onlookers, a seagull will attack and badly hurt him). No, more interesting to me is how NBC will fill five hours of their primetime schedule in the void created by the absence of Leno's void of a show. Aside from a few under-appreciated sitcoms, NBC hasn't made a good show in years. And they haven't created a successful show since Joey, Chandler and the rest all rode off into the sunset on a fucking dinosaur. These are the Detroit Lions of the entertainment industry. What kind of shows could you create with only one month to work with and the intelligence of a pile of rabbit pellets?
To find out, with the help of a piece of paper with Alexander Hamilton on it and a woefully underpaid janitor, I broke into the NBC offices in New York. After smelling a pencil which I thought might have been touched by Tina Fey, I tracked down a document with the planned replacements for the 10:00pm spot on NBC's schedule. It was easy enough to find, being written entirely in feces smeared on a wall. I present it to you below, in a a pleasant, non-fecal font.
(How's that for an endorsement? "Verdana: It's better than shit.")
Monday Law and Order: Murder Science
Law and Order: Murder Science will be the latest installment of the weary Law and Order franchise, which has been more or less entertaining viewers since it originated in 1948 as Betty Crocker Detective Theater on NBC radio. The "Murder Science" moniker indicates that NBC has finally cottoned on to the popularity of forensic investigation programs, roughly 10 years after they became cool.
With the minimal lead time, L&O:MS will have to rely on creative production techniques to get episodes ready by mid February. Combining a scripted drama with the cheap economics of a reality show, it appears NBC is going to be offering reality show contestants an opportunity to star briefly in the show, provided they're willing to get murdered on air. Will savagely butchering frosted tip cretins with poor singing voices lead to ratings success? My prediction is "A thousand times, yes."
Tuesday Who Wants to Write a Television Show?
A group of 12 hungry (metaphorically) and six hungry (literally) young writers are offered a chance of a lifetime: to write original episodes of an hour long drama which will be produced and aired on national TV. Divided into two teams, the contestants will compete in weekly challenges related to the craft, such as caffeine consumption and concealing plagiarism. The winning team will have their script aired the following night; the losing team will vote a single member off to be a guest star on Law and Order: Murder Science.
Unnamed Lawyer/Medical/Crime Drama (Who Wants to Write a Television Show? results)
This timeslot will air the results of the previous nights script. Described as "sensitive" and "gritty" and "E.R.-esque," this show already has Fred Savage signed up to play the as-yet unspecified lead role, with a supporting cast drawn from the finest commercial actors very little money can buy.
Thursday America’s Fattest Swingers
Sort of a mix between The Biggest Loser and Californication and I guess a bit of Animal Planet this is NBC's big attempt to generate some buzz and get people talking around the water cooler again. Just like we used to do in the days of Seinfeld, NBC is hoping this show will cause everyone across the country to start throwing around the show's signature catchphrases, like "I almost lost my watch in there!" and "Cram that cheeselog in my meathole, Elanor."
A slowly scrolling list of programs airing on other channels over the next hour and a half. Ad space for local businesses will be available in the upper right of the screen, while the hottest tracks the public domain has to offer play in the background.
In the unlikely event that any of the above programs don't work out, NBC has also green-lit the following shows to fill in any fat-swinger sized gaps in their schedule.
Every week, contestants are instructed to follow a minor celebrity or local TV weatherperson and gather compromising photographs of them and their undergarments. Look for guest appearances by Gillian Anderson, Ralph Macchio and Arsenio Hall’s gardener chasing a producer with a rake.
Mike Tyson’s Bowel Movements
Former Heavyweight Champion and capital-P Personality, Mike Tyson, has famously enormous bowel movements. Can average Americans, with the proper diet and training, hope to best him in one on one and group challenges?
Just straight up, no holds barred people fucking. Both contemporary and Greco-Roman style. Streamed straight from the Internet to televisions across the country. Narrated by Paul Reiser.