Making the Next Great TV Show!

A few weeks ago The Ringer posted an article asking if you could build a hit TV show, with a budget. This really got the creative juices flowing, so Chris and I made up some of our own. Let us know what you think!

Here they are:

‘Not 2 Shabby’

Matt: Simon Shabby (Jay Duplass) is the town klutz while working in his well-respected fathers auto-body shop. His father (Mandy Patinkin) finds himself in some financial difficulty after inaccurately filing taxes on behalf of his business, The Garage. The IRS allows them the opportunity to keep the business going if they can turn it around, but it must be run by Simon, who doesn’t know the business side of things. Shortly after the company is handed over to Simon, he finds out he has a twin brother who their mother took when she left town after the two were born. John Shabby (Jensen Ackles) is a business man from the city, but is inexperienced with cars and handiwork. However, because he never met his father until now, he feels it’s his duty to return and help his brother run their fathers Garage. Together they quarrel over a woman (Shannon Woodward), living together, and running The Garage, but overcome differences to succeed together.


  • Jay Duplass ($10)
  • Jensen Ackles ($17.50)
  • Shannon Woodward ($17.50)
  • Mandy Patinkin ($15)

Time period:

  • Present day ($5)


  • Small town Pennsylvania ($35)


  • Title with a pun ($7)
  • Name writer ($60)

Total: $167

‘John from Hell’

Matt: John (Michael Sheen) is an adult still living at his parents’ home in Hell. He was home schooled throughout his childhood, hasn’t held a job longer than 2 weeks and has never been in a committed, long-term relationship… Now banished from Hell by his father, Satan (Mark Harmon), due to his immaturity, lack of motivation and basic do-nothingness, John is sent up to live on Earth. This show follows him as he struggles to adjust to life among mere mortals. John’s daily activities on Earth are often taken to very wild and ridiculous levels to prove to his dad that he can be the hard-working, fallen angel he wants him to be. God: Jeffrey Wright


  • Michael Sheen ($10)
  • Mark Harmon ($52.50)
  • Jeffrey Wright ($17.50)

Time period:

  •  Present day ($5)


  • New York ($65)
  • Hell ($40)


  •  Name writer (Simon Rich of Man Seeking Woman) ($60)

Total: $250

‘The Library’

Chris: Parks and Rec gave the library a pretty bad rap so The Library is here to make things right (Sidenote: Not really. I recently started going back to the library and the librarians are as mean and ruthless as they are in Parks and Rec). Zooey Deschanel represents must watch TV for some people (i.e. me) and I think she and Lisa Kudrow could work well together as a couple of uber-quirky librarians. Jeffrey Tambor would be the older, semi-disgruntled male librarian. Rob Lowe comes in as a regular person who frequents the library. Would there be hijinks? Probably. A rivalry of some sorts? Maybe. A lil romance? With Rob Lowe in the cast, I sure hope so. Without having a super clear direction, we’re also bringing in a name writer – Greg Daniels – who’s written for Saturday Night Live, The Office, The Simpsons and, of course, Parks and Rec. I’m sure he’ll have some solid ideas.

Note: I kind of cheated here since Lisa Kudrow isn’t actually on the list. According to the rules, I think I need to pay $150 but come on. We all know Lisa Kudrow isn’t worth $150. Matt LeBlanc is going for $20. I think I was more than generous with $30.


  • Zooey Deschanel ($13)
  • Lisa Kudrow ($30)
  • Jeffrey Tambor ($27.50)
  • Rob Lowe ($17.50)

Time Period:

  • Present day ($5)


  • Other North American City- Greg Daniels can choose ($25)


  • Name Writer – Greg Daniels ($60)

Total: $178

‘Most Valuable President’

Matt: Dom Grady (Joel Kinnaman), star quarterback in the NFL and reigning MVP, is registered as an official candidate before the upcoming Presidential Election. Diehard fans facetiously nominated him after being displeased with the other elected officials running for the Presidency. And on the day of the Election, an unusual event takes place; Dom Grady is leading the race! Then, for the first time ever, a write-in candidate is elected President of the United States… President Grady now has to juggle still being a leader on his football team while being Leader of the Free World. First Lady: Michelle Monaghan. Coach: Billy Bob Thornton. Presidential staff: Andre Braugher, Gina Rodriguez and Scott Bakula.


  • Joel Kinnaman ($35)
  • Michelle Monaghan ($17.50)
  • Billy Bob Thornton ($25)
  • Andre Braugher ($10)
  • Gina Rodriguez ($6)
  • Scott Bakula ($13)

Time period:

  • Near (Less than 25 years) future ($50)


  • North American noncity location ($35)
  • Washington, D.C. ($25)


  • Professional sports league licensing ($30)

Total: $246.50

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