I felt like a spy in the house of Hollywood last night, as I attended a special event called Television Preview. The event is just as it sounds. It is a preview of possible upcoming new television shows. The test audience is asked to write down their thoughts and opinions inside a special booklet to be used by the producers of those TV shows.
So why did I feel spy-like? The M.C. asked me and my group 2 questions:
Can you stay until 9:40?
Do you work for an advertising company, a TV company, or a media company?
That question ticked me off. I was not about to turn around and go home at this point. Had they included that information on the tickets we received in the mail, I wouldn't have wasted my time showing up. I know why they were asking it, but I am in no position to spoil anything to the public through my company. I am still just a regular guy who watches TV and has valid opinions. I am not biased in any way. So, I answered 'no'.
Let me back up a bit here. It all started last week, when our mail came. Four tickets to attend the event were accompanied by a letter which explained the process. It sounded very exciting to me, as I enjoy giving my opinion, which is basically the entire reason I blog.
I thought that my sister would enjoy a night out, so I invited her. Suz and I thought Jodster would enjoy the experience, if not the TV shows, so we invited him. The final ticket was mine.
Due to client confidentiality, I am not able to name the title of this show, however, they ain't said nuthin' about describin' it!
The first TV show we saw starred Kim Raver, aka Jack Bauer's girlfriend, Audrey Raines, in Season three of 24. The premise was good, but the actual show wasn't. Intended to be a one-hour prime-time drama about a psychotherapist who has flashbacks to her previous life, it disappointed. Although we were told this was possibly becoming a new TV series, we all agreed it was filmed a long time ago, as cell phones were the size of Bibles. About 30% of the audience found some redeeming quality about this show. I was not among those people.
The second show we watched was a pilot episode filmed 10 years ago. It was a half-hour sitcom starring Valerie Harper. I found this show to be downright hilarious. I was very suprised to find myself laughing so hard at a show from a decade ago. What was more surprising, however, was that it was never picked up by a network. About 95% of the test audience agreed that it was a very funny, enjoyable show.
This show, however, did not have the possibility of being aired. What they wanted to know from us was if we thought Valerie Harper could hold her own as the lead in a new half-hour sitcom. That question was a little difficult to answer, as the entire cast worked so well together.
Finally, they caught us by surprise and showed us 3 commercials. They asked us our thoughts and opinions on the advertisements, and probably wanted to know if we'd buy those particular products. It made Suz feel like Lisa Simpson, in the Christmas episode of the Simpsons, where Kid First Industries tricked Springfield Elementary into designing a new toy: Funzo.
Funzo turned out to be evil. Hmm.