Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Neverending TV Show

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes."
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

The premise is simple: Create a real show around a 15 minute character lifespan. Solicit the general public to play *all* the roles by making the future scripts available on the Internet. Anyone who wants to be on the show can audition for a particular part at a regional audition location. Regional finalists would face off at the production facility. The winners get to play their roles but can never be on the show again.

Several things occured to me when I had this idea.
1) The writers have their work cut out for them.
2) Scripts would have to be available months in advance to allow time for the novice actors to get acclimated to their roles.
3) There would probably be no shortage of participants.
4) Would having foreknowledge of the script ruin the show?
5) Would people tune in to see if someone they know is on the show?

The last thing is a biggie. Where to set the show? My first thought was a bus depot or airport (a place where people are constantly coming and going), but I think a doctors office waiting room might be funny (and more practical).

phoenix, Nov 13 2001

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       Modify it to 'the winners ... can never be on TV ever again' and you get my vote, because otherwise you'll have hundreds of people who are famous for being famous clogging up the schedules for evermore (as witness the Big Brother drones).
angel, Nov 13 2001

       I think it'd cost a lot of money to produce something totally unwatchable. It might work if it was just extras/minor characters for something like a police or cop show, but a show with no continuing characters or plots and bad acting isn't going to be exciting viewing for anyone but friends and family of the stars.
pottedstu, Nov 13 2001

       How can you possibly have no continuing characters in any set? At a doctor's waiting room, there is surely need for a regular nurse, doctor, receptionist. An airport will have check-in desk staff.   

       More to the point, the acting would be even worse than that in Aussie and Yank soap operas which are all pretty appaling as it is (except for Neighbours, that rocks), making the show all but unwatchable. Fishbone.
CoolerKing, Nov 13 2001

       This could get quite surreal rather quickly. Imagine a soap opera with a loose script and lots of improvisation. It is shown live 24 hours a day. It has a regular rotating cast of about a couple of hundred people who may or may not appear in the show in a given week plus a couple of thousand extras who range from walk-ons to full characters. When you change a scene you always take a character with you.   

       e.g. The doctor's surgery scene ends. Dr Bob and the lovely nurse Marian leave to go to the café around the corner for lunch.
(Camera and sound stay on Dr.B and M) as they leave the surgery.
[cut to ad break]
(Camera now in café looking at door. Sees Dr. B and M enter still engrossed in the same conversation)
As the conversation ends the camera pans away to another table where CoolerKing and phoenix are engrossed in a conversation about the price of custard. UnaBubba hovers around the table offering tea and pointing out the lovely Japanese prints on the walls.
etc. etc. etc.

       Although cut (at convenint points) by ad breaks this could have the continuous tracking as seen in 'The Rope' or more recently at the beginning of 'The Player'.   

       You could also have great fun putting major players into walk-on parts.   

       (Not quite what phoenix envisaged but incorporating elements of the original idea.)
st3f, Nov 13 2001

       I sense I have offended.
(dons leather tunic and dodgy mullet wig. Adjusts vocal chords so that everything comes out in a muffled monotone. Finally, knees self in groin)
Oh... hello Marian.
st3f, Nov 13 2001

       (Reattaches halo. Looks in mirror. Pulls halo to rakish angle and smiles to self.)   

       Now where were we.
st3f, Nov 13 2001

       Same here. But only if St Threef's show has proper actors instead of a bunch of randoms who applied across the net.   

       I'm not too sure about the 24 hours a day thing. I suppose you could have a group of characters who are on the night shift rotation or some such thing.   

       A lot of soaps already use the panning across to a different conversation when in a public place, so that's proven to be a success. I assume that when phoenix gets bored with UnaBubba's constant references to the Japanese wall prints the camera will follow him to Griffin Park where he and angel discuss their elves. Then the camera catches hold of blissmiss as she walks past phoenix and angel on her way to the Vibro-Club for her showdown with 1%.   

       Personally, I'd rather the cameras were constantly on, i.e. no ad breaks and always following the current focus character(s) to their next destination. Instead, there could be some major product placement going on to keep the programme afloat.
CoolerKing, Nov 13 2001

       [st3f] is on my wavelength (minus the recurring characters). The original idea was for a show that runs from subplot to subplot where the only continuity is a character or characters that take us from one scene to the next.   

       I mentioned the doctors office because it could take advantage of a fixed set, you could justify people coming (showing up for appointments) and going (to see the doctor). The nature of the show would require that you never see anyone who actually works in the doctors office - just the disembodied voice of a nurse calling out "Next".   

       Ah, well. I like the idea, but I have to admit I probably wouldn't watch it either.
phoenix, Nov 13 2001

       Hmmm! DrBob going to lunch with an attractive nurse. I like the idea, st3f, but it sounds like a bit of a WIBNI to me.

phoenix, I can guarantee that no patient that visited DrBob's surgery would survive (oops! I mean 'appear') for more than 15 minutes, regardless of whether or not they were sick when they came in.

"Nurse, hand me the pointy thing. No, not that one, the other one with the funny corkscrew bit on the end. Now hold still Mr phoenix, you'll just feel a slight sting..."
DrBob, Nov 13 2001

       Uh, Doc, don't I get any anestOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!
phoenix, Nov 13 2001

       Meandering transitions, of course, are the mainstay of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' with cross continuity and later in 'Tampopo' with a unifying theme.   

       But another way that a coherent narrative might become sustainable and even develop the story, despite being comprised of an endless succession of one shot fifteen minute walk-ons, is in an episodic series concerning the transmission of some sort of hot potato, some sort of an object or even a memeplex, perhaps secret and/or some sort of a code key and/or even magic spell, of empowerment and responsibility, that for whatever reason(s), must continually be found a new keeper immediately, perhaps not only just to be well rid of it, but also to keep it out of enemy hands and/or for successive urgent decisions and/or tasks each requiring different aptitudes, skill sets and/or other personality traits.   

       Copyright Aaron Agassi 2002
AaronAgassi, Dec 28 2002

       Suddenly phoenix appears with a sawn-off shot gun and a wad of sticky labels. He sticks a label on each of the major characters, the furniture and finally on himself. In the centre of each label is a target and at the bottom the text [m*****-f**-d*******] and a pithy phrase.
st3f, Mar 21 2003


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