After a big CEO threatens to convert their inherited community TV station into a home shopping channel. Two brothers must find the worst talent to produce the worst shows in order to make the CEO lose interest and give them back their station to uphold their dying father's wish.

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    Singularity Posted on May 18, 2015 in Public.
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      This is the logline for the ongoing premise of a comedy web series.

      Thanks for your help.

      Singularity Answered on May 18, 2015.
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        If this series is about ‘making the worst tv programs’ and the logline reflects this fact and not the Pilot’s plot, than my take is:

        After an aggressive takeover a family owned community TV station becomes a home shopping channel; now two brothers must produce the worst shows to make the new boss lose interest and give them back their station.

        Samurai Answered on May 18, 2015.
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          I’m confused: A big, bad CEO threatens to convert a station he doesn’t even own? How is that legally (or otherwise) possible? The brothers own the station; they inherited it, right?

          Singularity Answered on May 19, 2015.
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            The big bad CEO purchased a majority of shares in the company after the brothers inherited it in an aggressive take over as suggested above by Rutger.

            Do you find the details of the take over relevant to the plot?

            We structured the story to start (Inciting incident) after the threat to convert the station into a home shopping channel not the take over. The brothers goal is to uphold their dying fathers wish by preventing the conversion to the shopping channel which will prevent the elderly viewers and their pension monies from being exploited.

            Thanks for your help.

            Singularity Answered on May 19, 2015.
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              Interesting re draft Rutger thanks.

              Singularity Answered on May 19, 2015.
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                Option 1: Story STARTS after the threat to convert the station into a home shopping channel.

                (1) Why doesn’t this CEO just sack the brothers? What can prevent him to do so? If he can, there is now story!
                (2) If the brothers want to make ‘terrible’ community TV programs, won’t they:
                a) hurt their community in the long term;
                b) drive their company into the ground having huge losses with making crappy TV programs.
                (3) How should these programs look? The Office(US) style with each eppisode about making 1 crappy TV program. People from the community can send in their TV show ideas? But each episode is really about the interaction between the leading office characters.
                (4)Is the end of the series the point the CEO gives up his idea?

                Option 2: Story STARTS after the take over.

                (1) Why does this CEO just sack the brothers? idem
                (2) If the brothers want to make terrible chopping channel TV programs, won’t they drive their company into the ground with having huge losses with making crappy chopping channel programs.
                (3) How should these programs look? “Tony” “You can do it too” weight loss programs etc…? Could be very funny but my first thought was arn’t the chopping channel programs worse enough without making them even crappier.
                The Office(US) style with each episode about making 1 crappy chopping channel program. Not realistic. it takes months to make one chopping channel program.
                People from the community can send in their chopping channel ideas?
                (4) Is the end of the series the point the CEO gives up his idea?

                Option 1 looks the most logical now, so forget about my logline adaptation.

                Cut to the bone:

                “Two brothers must save their community TV station.”

                My (first) take:

                “To prevent their community TV station made into a chopping channel through an aggressive takeover, two brothers must make the worst community TV programs… EVER!”

                Samurai Answered on May 20, 2015.
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                  Playing the role of the devil’s advocate, the CEO, if the brothers want to produce the worst possible programming to discourage me from buying out the station, I say: “BRING IT ON!!!”

                  Because if I’m doing a hostile buyout, the lousy ratings from the lousy programming will drive down the price of the stock, make it cheaper for me to get a majority interest. As a greedy capitalist, I won’t have to pay a premium price! As an opportunistic bottom feeder, someone looking for undervalued assets, the brothers’ strategy would be playing right into my game plan, my strong suit.

                  Godspeed, bros, and bring on the worst talent, the worst programs you can find!

                  I don’t want to buy the station for the programming, and certainly not the management. The real assets I want to get my greedy, grasping fingers on are the equipment, the bandwidth and the broadcasting license. Once I’ve gotten those — at a discounted price thanks to the brothers’ programming strategy — and hold a majority interest, nothing can stop me from throwing out the brothers, canning their programming, and turning the station in a shopping network.

                  Bottom line: the brothers’ strategy will only make the station even more desirable — not less.

                  So, BRING IT ON!!!

                  Singularity Answered on May 20, 2015.
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                    Now flipping over the role of the angel’s advocate:

                    For the strategy of driving down the value of station to work, there has to be an adversary with a stake in wanting the value to stay high. (It can’t be the CEO; he wants to buy low). Like another faction of the family that wants to cash out, sell their interest, and NEEDS to sell high, for as much money as they can get.

                    Then the brothers strategy make sense in the reel and real world: they want to drive down the value to dissuade the other faction from selling out. And penalize them financially if they do sell because the feuding faction won’t have the money they NEED to pay off debts, maintain the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed, whatever.

                    IOW: have a family feud. Pit one faction of the family against another.

                    fwiw

                    Singularity Answered on May 20, 2015.
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                      … the other fraction could be the ‘black sheep’ of the family, the son who always felt ‘underrated’ and made a fortune at the stock market ! He wants the buy the TV station to get back at his family or/and just because he can!

                      Samurai Answered on May 20, 2015.
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                        Good thinking with the introduction of a family feud however I don’t think the order of events in the story has been made clear ( a point on its own by the way ).

                        The CEO had already purchased the majority of shares in the station before the story starts. Therefore it is in his best interest to retain the value of the company and its current viewing audience. So if the brothers want to get the company back to uphold their dying fathers wish they have to make the CEO lose his interest. Not the other way around.

                        Considering this are there any suggestions as to how best to re draft the logline?

                        Thanks for your help.

                        Singularity Answered on May 20, 2015.
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                          To prevent their community TV station made into a chopping channel after an aggressive takeover, two brothers must make the worst community TV programs… EVER!”

                          Samurai Answered on May 20, 2015.
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                            Good suggestions how about:

                            After an aggressive take over of their dying father’s independent TV station, two inept brothers must produce the worst shows to temporarily lose ratings in order force the greedy CEO to sell back their shares, only to find enormous success online.

                            Does this read better and answer the ownership legality problems mentioned above?

                            Singularity Answered on May 21, 2015.
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                              If the new logline answers the ownership legality problems is for others to answer. But I like the logline, it has a lot of irony now. But I think to make the logline shorter you could lose “dying father” and you also have: to” — “in order (to)”…

                              If the brothers are “inept” it is only logical that they make bad programs. They don’t have to make bad programs on purpose anymore.

                              Problem with “only to find enormous success online” is that the sentence isn’t crisp anymore. But there is a lot of irony.

                              So now there is now way the CEO will ever sell back his shares?! But – but the CEO also has a new problem, should he still turn the TV station into a chopping channel now it has more success than ever?

                              As you said The CEO wants “its current viewing audience” but will he lose that audience turning the station into a chopping channel?

                              We want the series to have more episodes, so the CEO decides to turn the station into a chopping channel.. If the brothers can earn more money by making bad TV programs, they can make a shitload of money making bad chopping channel programs the CEO argues.

                              TWIST (after 7 episodes?) (Total: 14 episodes?)

                              So they start making chopping programs. But this does not work because it’s impossible to make shitier chopping channel program than allready are made, ONLY FUNNIER. Making chopping channel programs becomes a fiasco and the CEO bales out. Because of their prior success the brothers have built up a financial buffer and are able to re-start their normal community TV station. End of seasons 1. But is there any intresting ‘contradicting’ content left for a possible season 2?

                              After an aggressive takeover of their independent TV station, two talented brothers must produce the worst shows to temporarily lose ratings and force the greedy CEO to sell back their shares(, only to find enormous success online).

                              Samurai Answered on May 21, 2015.
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                                After a hostile buyout of their TV station, two brothers deliberately produce the worst shows, to lower ratings and force the greedy CEO to sell back their shares. (28 words)

                                Notes:
                                “Dying father…” — backstory, mostly? Necessary for the story and to explain the brother’s emotional attachment to the station, but extraneous for the logline?

                                “Inept” — Then they would already be producing lousy shows prior to the hostile buyout — wouldn’t they? So they wouldn’t have to do anything different (which the inciting incident should compel) than continue to be as inept as they were before, right? Or does inept refer to something else beside their bad taste in programming that the inciting incident plays off, forces them to confront and overcome?
                                .
                                “Deliberately” — an intention decision , a change of tactics triggered by the inciting incident. They know darn well what they’re doing.

                                “…only to find enormous success online” — a plot twist, unintended, but is it really essential to the logline? Let’s just say I could see that plot twist coming from a country mile in earlier iterations of your concept. I figure most other script readers would also. After all there has to be a big midpoint reversal — what else could it be?

                                And it seems to me that part of ironical twist might be that now they’re stuck producing the kind of programming they despise — it’s the only way to get back ownership [short run] and retain their independence, i.e. financial solvency [long run]. The kind of programming they really want to produce doesn’t pay the bills.

                                IOW: stretch them out further on the rack of their dilemma with more than just the cords of financial independence.

                                fwiw.

                                Singularity Answered on May 22, 2015.
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                                  I feel like you’ve overloading the logline with information that isn’t super relevant, and it’s kind of hiding what feels like a logic problem in the logline.

                                  The CEO wants to turn the community TV station into a shopping network. I can understand his motivation there, if he thinks it’s going to be more lucrative for him.

                                  Destroying the community TV station’s reputation doesn’t feel like it’s an appropriate action to take in response to this event, because it doesn’t feel like it’d make any difference if the CEO is going to scrap the community programming anyway? Like, it’d only be an effective strategy if your antagonist was TRYING to amass viewers and improve ratings, and your characters were actively working against that.

                                  I like the concept — they have to make bad TV to destroy the station — but it doesn’t feel like the right response considering the event that’s occurring to them.

                                  That’s story shit, I guess, and just my two cents. But if you’re dead set on pushing forward with this version of the story, the logline is just too bloated.

                                  Focus it on one brother enlisting the other’s help, to communicate who your protagonist is and what the flaw (and likely theme) of the series is going to be.

                                  Tacking ‘to fulfill the father’s dying wish’ on the end doesn’t raise the stakes … just more questions. Because the wish hasn’t been central to anything else in the logline, and I don’t even know what it is. So I don’t think that’s helping you there. (The threat of unemployment is pretty high anyway — and if this is a bit of a Young Ones/IT Crowd tonally — the punk aesthetic and ‘fuck you authority’ sentiment kind of negates the need for such high stakes).

                                  Samurai Answered on May 22, 2015.
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