Wednesday, August 12, 2009

IDEA: Choose Your Own Adventure TV

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? There was a time when they were all I read, thus I ended up dying a lot, and having really bizarre nightmares.

Last night, this idea hit me like (Choose one):

a) a ton of bricks
b) George Foreman's fist
c) a train

The basic concept: write a very simple pilot for a television show with an array of characters in a simple situation. Then, have a website set up with a message board or a voting mechanism that allows viewers to determine the direction, plot lines, even dialogue of the show every week. (It could be modeled after that White House project where people can post policy ideas, and other people can either vote the idea up or down).

This would be such a cool exercise in collaboration, and would be just another step in the fusion of technology with pop culture- people can vote on American Idol, why not vote for characters to die off, or suffer a bizarre disease? Mediocre Hollywood writers (most of them) could easily reap the benefits of the nation's talent and take dialogue ideas (witty comebacks, dramatic monologues, crafted declarations of love) from a message board of people, eager to hear their ideas on tv but not persistent or savvy enough to write their own television show.

Think about the possibilities! (Choose one)

a) It would be an immediate cult-following, as people would be clamboring to see which ideas won out each week. There would be much Tweeting, texting, and Facebooking to lobby for people to vote certain plotlines- the viewer participation and dialogue would be really neat to see! It could be a model for other, more important, forms of citizenship.

b) Such a telling usage of television as social commentary- say, around election season, a grassroots organization wanted some attention to an issue they were trying to advance: if the word was spread fast enough and enough votes mobilized, that issue could be an integral part of a television plot the following week, garnerning national attention and sparking further discussion.

c) It's new! It hasn't been done!

Who do I talk to about this? Does anyone have any friends in the biz? Just know, you heard it here first when you see it on network tv next fall.

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