Hey Jerry, thanks again for the script; this idea has a lot of promise and we're all excited to work on it. Shows about teenagers do well and that points to some successful numbers. The only problems I see is that rather than stick to a conventional narrative or story-arc you seemed to throw those tropes to the wind; you specified that these four teenagers live in a sewer, heavily armed. Why? And where are the parents?
Once we trouble-shoot some of those issues and get a title, I think we may have a real winner here, and the timing truly couldn't be better.
Turtles aren't a good building-block for a kids show, Jerry. They're just not an exciting animal, and even the shows focused on animals in general use the animals as placeholders, you know, they make personified animals that talk and dance and all that jazz. No one has a three-camera sitcom focused on actual living turtles.
This is a major step back from your first pitch.
If I had to pinpoint one problem, I'd note that it's off-putting that, despite the show's rigid accuracy and educational bent, you easily dedicate half the show to the four turtles' obsession with pizza. This could be endearing in theory, but it's a strange choice to push this angle when they are clearly forced to eat the pizza against their will, miniscule jaws ruled by tiny little strings making them chomp down on bites as their little turtle eyes dart around in mortal terror.
Furthermore, marshmallow-and-anchovy pizza isn't a thing, Jerry. Have you ever even had pizza?
Let's stick with what works, okay? Teenagers, sitcom, bing bam boom.
I can't stress this enough Jerry: no one likes turtles. It isn't enough to "spice them up" by making them horribly radiated, and frankly, it's more than a little insensitive. I'm also seriously concerned as to how you could find so many deformed turtles on such short notice for the pilot, which, it should be noted, was in no way approved for shooting. No audience is going to be enamored with live turtles doing turtle thing, and none of those issues are fixed now that they're watching sickly turtles flop around on extra legs trying to escape the pizza which, once again, they clearly aren't interested in.
This is the stuff of nightmares, Jerry. Get back to the teenager pitch. This is a really important time for all of us.
This isn't what I had in mind. Not even close. You just gave the turtles little hats and put them on skateboards. Adorable or not, that simply can't carry a show let alone make it the "critically acclaimed phenomenon" you have the chutzpah to claim it will be.
You know what? No turtles. I can't be any clearer than that.
Okay, so we're still in the woods here, but I'm glad we're finally reigning this sucker in.
First note: having the characters discuss "teenage issues" as you mentioned is a good start toward fleshing out the characters, but not when those issues are exclusively pertaining to ninjas. Why do they care so much? Are they ninjas too? And the closer we could get to "mutant" meaning "cool" or "super" instead of "sick" or "really sick" is the closer we as a network are to having a new show on the air that honestly, really has to succeed.
On a different note, these aren't really great titles for shows, generally. And your theme music for each has just been you repeatedly yelling the title of each show to monotonous music: let's be sure to fix that if any of these pitches move on.
And teenagers shouldn't need strings to make them eat pizza. What kind of pizza are you making here?
Please just write a normal show. We need a success, okay? It's a very
serious time for me. I can't get be more specific than that.
Okay, so I guess they really are ninjas now. Just to be clear though, I wasn't asking before if they were ninjas in a sort of "oh, wouldn't it be nifty" way, but more in a "is this man serious with my livelihood right now" way. I do not want them to be ninjas. I do not want them to be mutants. I want a simple, normal show about teenagers. Also, somewhere along the line you decided to make the show animated, so we wouldn't have to worry about finding "Charismatic but horribly mutated actors" as you phrased it. Bravo, Jerry, bravo. This is a step I would have endorsed back when you were forcing barely conscious two-headed mutant-turtles to eat pizza.
And seriously, where did you even get those things? You were gone for like, thirty minutes, tops.
This is our last chance, Jerry. I mean it. Time is running out.
we can work with this, I guess.
First problem though: too artsy. No kids today would watch a program centered on Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo. And even if they did, why are they still living in a sewer? Sewers are not a normal place for people to live, Jerry, let alone 16th century artists who somehow fight crime. And ninjas. Why are the ninjas still here? We need a hit, Jerry, we need one. Do you understand me? I need this. It's hard to explain, but-
No. What is wrong with you? I am desperate and-
Okay Jerry, listen up: I'm in some serious debt to some serious people and I am running out of time, so understand this: if your next pitch isn't the most brilliant idea in television history, I swear, I will take a gun and kill you right where you stand. I want you to think long and hard about this next idea is, and I want you to ask yourself two questions: I want you to ask yourself "is this an idea I would bet my life on right now?" and "does this idea involve turtles" because chances are Jerry, the answer to both those questions isn't going to be "yes."
Oh, it is? To both? No, okay, you know what? Tell me. Go ahead, tell me. I could use a good laugh about now. So tell me, Jerry, what could possibly be your "one last pitch save the day?"