for 17 December 1996. Updated every TUESDAY.

BIG IDEA A criminal-centric Cops meets C-Span
... on cable!
25 WORDS <= Keeping cameras trained on actual gangstas
24-7, G-Span does C-Span one better by
cashing in on America's obsessions with
authenticity and crime.
HARD SELL C-Span and Court TV have helped make
reality-based television all the rage,
but neither channel broadcasts an
especially exciting version of real life.
Both have always lacked sympathetic
characters (who the hell likes
politicians or lawyers?), and the speed
at which the law moves makes golf games
seem fast-paced by comparison. G-Span
takes a more profitable approach to
true-life television, broadcasting the
uncut exploits of those who take our
money illegally with the same steadfast
devotion to actual events (and hence low
production costs). One look at the
Billboard charts speaks volumes about our
culture's obsession with gangsta chic,
and America's appetite for authenticity
will make this 24-hour crime-fest far
more popular than its fictionalized
Like its political cousin, G-Span
basically follows gangstas around with
cameras - a strategy almost guaranteed to
yield a better dollars-to-doughnuts ratio
than any footage the Cops crew grabs.
Viewers will be spellbound by gangsta
life as it happens - from the thrill of a
home invasion to the glamour of a gang
meeting. The programming may sometimes
get grisly, but the risk of fatality is
what gives thug life the
live-fast-die-young ethos entertainment
consumers seem to demand. Cultural
killjoys will doubtless point out that
the channel plays off of our most basic
fears - but that sure never hurt C-Span's
OVERHEAD Like other true-life television dramas,
G-Span will cost far less than fictional
programming (called "entertainment" by
some). The most significant start-up cost
will be staff and cameras - both of which
will probably have to be replaced from
time to time due to the unique pressures
of the filming environment. Insurance
will be the next biggest expense, but
plans call for giving potential insurers
a piece of the rock, so to speak, in
exchange for fitting this project into
the category of "acceptable risk."
Editing will be done as cheaply as
possible in order to keep it real, and
there won't be any actors or directors to
demand more money if the show succeeds.

[Pitch Archive]

courtesy of
Dr. Dreidel