The Skipster says: Responding to an early morning "summons" from the Foxster, I went into our beautiful conference room at around 8:10, and found my partner anxiously awaiting me.
He smiled and shook his head. "I keep forgetting, you're new at this."
"New at what?" I asked.
"This whole 'relationship' thing." I sat down, waiting for him to continue. I knew there'd be more; a man of few words, he's not. And this was the first time he and I had been alone since Tuesday evening. "I don't often give advice. I dislike giving it. But when someone asks for advice, and I do give it, and they ignore it... well... I dislike that even more."
His choice of words seemed angry, but the tone of his voice told me he was just messing with me. So I egged him on by asking "Gee, whatever could you be talking about?"
"Gretchen, of course. You asked me how you should handle it, and I said 'Take it slowly. Slowly.' Remember?"
"Vaguely," I said, suppressing a smirk.
"Vaguely. Terrific. If you'd told me what you were planning, I would have tied you up and stuffed you in the trunk of the limo!"
"But I didn't, Foxster..."
"She could have said 'no' when you proposed, Skip."
"But she didn't, Foxster."
"It could have all blown up in your face!"
"But it didn't, Foxster."
He finally burst out laughing. "You took one hell of a chance, old friend! I am so glad for both of you that it worked out!"
"Worked out? Isn't that a prepositional ending?"
The Foxster's exact reply is, unfortunately, unprintable.
"Anything else?" I replied.
"Yeah. You're a jackass." He "toasted" me from his end of the table with his mug of coffee.
"Is that why you called me down here so early?"
He sat up straight in his chair "No!" he exclaimed. "You're not going to believe this. I got a call from an NBC exec named Punky Brewster at eight o'clock."
"Why so early?"
"It was nine o'clock in New York. I had to explain the whole time zone thing to her. Never mind that. Evidently, she's head of programming -- this week, anyway -- and she told me about how the old peacock is desperately searching to fill the 10 p.m. slot, because of that debacle with Jay and Conan. She wondered if we had any ideas."
I leaned back in my red chair, and thought for a moment. Conan O'Brien is a good friend of ours, and we were both a little miffed about the initial treatment he got from 30 Rock.
After about five seconds, I leaned forward. "Okay, here's what I have in mind. We'll agree to come up with a concept, and deliver scripts for at least the first few episodes. We want Executive Producer credits for the length of the series. Plus, we retain the rights to any and all new characters we create."
"Great!" the Foxster exclaimed. "What's the concept?"
I paused for a moment for dramatic emphasis. "The NBC Mystery Movie. A rotating 'wheel' with three different shows. They can air them on consecutive nights if they want to."
The Foxster gave me a blank stare. "Uhh... hasn't that already been done? Like, back in the seventies?"
"Yep," I answered. "We're basically going to sell a series they already own back to them. Serves 'em right, after what they did to Coco."
The Foxster broke out in a wide grin. "Oooh, don't let him hear you call him 'Coco!' So, who's going to write these fabulous series?"
I grinned back at him. "Do we even care? As far as I'm concerned, Gretchen, Tara, and Kato can write 'em!" The Foxster got a big laugh out of that!
Forty-seven minutes later, we had our three shows fleshed out, to debut under the NBC Mystery Movie umbrella. We pitched it on a conference call to New York, and it was a quick sale.
Here are the shows:
Dude On The Run.
A dude is running from something. He doesn't know what, and neither do we... but boy, is he running. He travels from town to town, and solves a local mystery in each episode. Our own Gretchen Von Grüber will write the scripts.
Who The Hell Am I?
A gal with amnesia travels from town to town, helping people she meets along the way and solving a local mystery. Our own Tara King will write the scripts.
A guy who has a nose for ferreting out terrorists follows them home on his own time, solves a mystery, and foils their fiendish plots. Our own Kato Kato will write the scripts.
Punky at NBC was ecstatic! "This is the greatest idea for a series I've heard in my life! Who do I write the check out to?"
The Foxster spoke up. "Actually, that should be 'To whom should I write out the check,' Punky." After that, he and I could only smile...