Sunday, September 13, 2009

TV: How to get a show on CBS

I’ve been seeing subway posters and bus banners all over the place for NCIS: Los Angeles, a sure-fire fall hit for CBS. The show, a spin-off of the Mark Harmon starrer that’s your grandmother’s favorite program since they cancelled Dr. Quinn, will join CSI: Miami and CSI: New York as part of one of television’s more peculiar programming patterns: apparently, the way that you get a show on CBS is by creating spinoffs with titles that consist of an acronym, followed by a city. It also helps if you have the show fronted by a B-list actor who’s not getting much work these days. (NCIS:LA stars loathsome ol’ Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J, who has appently given up on getting anyone to call him “James Todd Smith”.)

In that spirit, I’d like to propose the following shows to the suits at CBS. I understand that the fall season is just a couple of weeks away, so I’m open to options for midseason pick-ups.

Jonathan Silverman in ASPCA: Pittsburgh
Wilford Brimley in AARP: Palm Springs
Geena Davis in MADD: Milwaukee
John Lithgow in YMCA: Omaha
Craig T. Nelson in NRA: Detroit
Annabeth Gish in ASCAP: Denver
Keith David in AAA: Salt Lake City
Tom Hulce in OPEC: Albany
Mario van Peebles in ACLU: Raleigh
Rue McClanahan in DAR: Shreveport
Giovanni Ribisi in FDIC: Memphis

Pilot treatments available upon request.

Your suggestions?


  1. Annie Potts in AA: Cleveland
    David Paymer in IRS: Baltimore
    Steve Schirripa in RICO: Kansas City
    Nick Swardson in NAMBLA: Los Angeles

    or how about a meta title like:

    Jimmy Smits in LAPD: Los Angeles?