Recommendations,  Required Reading

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Required Reading. I have a strange habit of imagining the pitch meetings for various films and television shows. Particularly the really bad ones. What could possibly have been said to convince someone that it was a good idea to make some of the bizarre things out there? What was said in the pitch meeting for Naked and Afraid, for instance? Or Sharknado? Most recently a friend and I were imagining the pitch meetings for music videos. Equally entertaining to imagine are the pitch meetings for shows that have a truly odd premise and yet somehow just work. This imagined pitch for Wishbone from Abbey Fenbert is amazing and hilarious.

VISIONARY: So there’s this dog.

PBS SUITS: We’re listening.

VISIONARY: And he loves books.

[nodding, nodding]

VISIONARY: He knows all about classic books.

SUIT #1: Adorable.

SUIT #2: Like a cartoon dog?

VISIONARY: No, no. A live Jack Russell Terrier.


VISIONARY: He belongs to a boy named Joe.

SUIT #1: Nice.

SUIT #3: And Joe reads him the books?

VISIONARY: No, Joe couldn’t care less about books.

SUIT #3: Oh. Okay.

VISIONARY: Joe and his friends’ day-to-day scrapes resemble the plotlines of great novels, and Wishbone like, picks up on it.

SUIT #2: Wishbone?


SUIT #2: Oh.

SUIT #3: The name seems like more of a turkey thing…?

SUIT #1: Should we name him something literary? Something like Dogstoyev-

VISIONARY: No. His name is Wishbone. Unlike his human companion, Wishbone is a great lover of books. When Joe’s life reminds him of a masterpiece, as it so often does, our canine Virgil guides the audience on a journey into that book.

SUIT #3: So the dog can talk.

VISIONARY: Nope. Joe and his friends and Joe’s mom just think he’s a regular dog.

SUIT #2: …Joe’s dad?

VISIONARY: Ellen is a single mom. She’s a widow. This is a story about the limitless ecstasies of the imagination, but we want to respect the complex lives of our young viewers, so sometimes things are very real.


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