(Originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer 1/26/05)
I remember when I first heard there was going to be a golf channel. I chuckled to myself and thought, “Now there’s a dumb idea.” I thought the same thing about cell phones.
Not to cast aspersions on the sport, but do we really need an entire channel devoted to guys wearing plaid pants and chasing a little ball around? What could be next? The bowling channel? Perhaps ping pong or curling?
Now it seems we might be on the verge of a poker channel. And again, I just don’t get it. My husband and college age son seem endlessly entertained by watching poker on TV, and I shudder to think if it was available to them twenty-four hours a day. To my mind you might as well sit around and watch grass grow.
Surely there must be some media moguls out there who can figure out what we really want on cable. Remember, these are my patented ideas, and I expect full compensation.
The George Clooney Channel: Twenty-four hours a day of you-know-who, including continual showings of all the movies he ever starred in, replays of all interviews and award show appearances, and daily news reports on what’s current in George’s personal life. Another feature: special up-close-and-personal segments (like they do for the Olympics) with family members and with his dentist and hair stylist.
To borrow from my own idea, the same concept could be applied to the Brad Pitt Channel, the Howie Long Channel, and the Richard Gere Channel.
The Chocolate Channel: Around the clock coverage of events, recipes, catalogs, or anything to do with chocolate. They could highlight the best chocolate purveyors in every city in the world, including information on whether they will ship their products overnight. Guest chefs would create mouthwatering chocolate recipes using only the finest ingredients, never mentioning fat, sugar, or caloric content.
The Shoe Channel: No, this is not for fetishists. This channel would feature daily updates of Nordstrom’s Shoe Department, international tours of design studios including Ferragamo and Jimmy Choo, and include segments such as, “Can you have too many pairs of black shoes?” Also, an in-depth look at all the shoes worn by Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City.”
The Reverse Swan: Watch what happens when formerly beautiful people who have everything begin their downhill slide into obscurity and weight gain. Hidden cameras will follow these former media darlings as they sneak into Krispy Kreme and TJ Maxx. Hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis, Kirstie Alley, and Nick Nolte.
The Perfect Family Channel: This interactive family is cloned from the Nelsons and the Cleavers. They never do anything embarrassing. They look straight at you from the TV and tell you all your ideas are fabulous. They don’t drink to excess on holidays, and are always cheerful and supportive.
The I Hate Exercise Videos Channel: Wherein all celebrities who have ever made exercise videos are made to walk around a brightly-lit stage in their college t-shirts and baggy gray gym shorts with no make-up on or hair syling personnel available. For fun, Denise Austin’s exercise videos could be run backward. There could be a retrospective of all videos from Jane Fonda through Jazzercise, including a quick flashback of disco aerobics.
The Martha Channel: And you thought she was over. Not only will she be back with her own show, but she’ll be better than ever, in true Martha style. The woman has enough ideas and energy to fill twenty-four hours a day on a cable channel, and let’s face it, it’s a lot more fun to watch someone make a gingerbread mansion than to actually make one yourself. Besides you’ll want to tune in to see how she meshes her lifestyle ideas with prison reform.
The Oprah Channel: (See above re: energy and ideas.) We never seem to tire of Oprah. Using the web-cam concept, television cameras could follow Oprah 24/7 – we could see what she really does eat when no one is looking, whether she sometimes reads trashy romance novels (you know it can’t be all Toni Morrison and John Steinbeck), and watch her head explode as she tries to balance all those zeroes in her checkbook every month.
It might be enough to make a person pick up a good book.