Philippines’ Next Top TV Writer

There was some fuss recently about ABS-CBN allegedly remaking the hit teen flick Twilight for television. ABS-CBNNews.com had even uploaded a story about it, although ABS-CBN has since denied the rumor. (Peruse ABS-CBN News’ erratum.) I’m pretty certain they did have intentions of creating a Pinoy version of Twilight but chickened out after the public’s general reaction to the idea turned out to be very negative.

Something the Takipsilim rumor made obvious was that our networks have almost entirely run out of creative juices. The fact has been obvious to me for some time now, and it was validated by the Takipsilim rumor: when it permeated through the Interwho, people actually tended to believe it (although they fervently hoped that it wasn’t true). That meant that people were used to ABS-CBN ripping off foreign works. You could argue that they buy the rights to remake movies and shows (which technically doesn’t constitute “ripping off”), but originality is absent all the same.

I want to give networks a lifeline. I want to bail them out of their creative bankruptcy, if you will. While in the loo a few days ago, I thought up a concept for a reality TV show whose mission would be twofold: a, be a replacement for the shows the network just purchases rights for; and b create a new, original concept for a TV show that the network can use instead of simply buying rights to game shows from Endemol.

The premise is quite basic, actually. ABS-CBN would gather writers for television from all across the country and put them under one roof. The pool of contestants would be divided into three teams. Every week or two, each team would have to churn out a new, totally original concept for a game show or soap opera based on a theme or idea. Said themes or ideas would be provided by a panel composed of acclaimed television writers from all over the world. A separate panel would judge the teams’ outputs. Criteria for judging would be made up of many aspects, but it is imperative that the biggest factor be originality. When the season ends, ABS-CBN awards Php1 million and various showcases to the team who wins the most weekly projects.

Say the show runs for three months, which would equal 12 weeks. At the end of that show, ABS should then have at least three or four good concepts they can use to create shows of their own. If they want, they could have the show run for multiple seasons to squeeze out more show ideas for their use.

It might seem silly, but I’m seriously tired of ABS just ripping off purchasing rights to foreign TV shows. It gives the wrong (?) impression that we Pinoys lack originality, that we can’t think up ideas of our own. ABS-CBN is perhaps the best we can show the world; they could at least come up with something more than dancing girls in skimpy outfits and a female version of Howie Mandel.

NOTE: Ownership of the reality TV show concept outlined in this post belongs to Dean Lozarie. Permission should be sought from him at dlozarie at gmail dot com should you wish to create a show out of it. 😛

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