MEMO TO : MARK BURNETT
December 4, 2000
I know you are up to your ass in Alligators right now trying to cut the new Survivor series that you wrapped in Australia last month, but I think you ought to take a few moments to consider just what has been going on here at home while you were figuring out challenges for your contestants in the Outback. It seems we have gotten ourselves into a greater challenge in our Presidential race than Richard Hatch ever faced on Palau Tiga. Al Gore and George Bush are locked in what seems to be fight to the death to see who won Florida. Which brings me right to the point: let's use that!
This is a chance for a one-off that could bring in the biggest audience in world-wide broadcasting history.
Suppose, the question of who gets the Presidency were resolved in a good, old-fashioned duel. You know, like in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, when there were politicians like Aaron Burr, who were willing to put matters of honor to the test. Imagine, a classic duel , twenty paces, using the finest old dueling pistols.
Hawaii would be a perfect setting..a sandy beach or lush pasture, in the last minutes of a tropical sunset. That would make it late prime time on the East Coast, and early prime time on the West Coast. The show would be pre-sold to world markets. SponsorsShow about State Farm and Nationwide, the NRA, and maybe even Viagra? The numbers would be bigger than the Super Bowl and the Oscars combined.
So what's in it for the candidates? Well, they have both made clear that life is not worth living without the White House. The Survivor gets the job, and the government. He and his party are happy. The trick is to make it a win-win situation for the loser. So, let's be magnanimousS. Let's give a third of the take to the loser's party. We are talking billions here..enough for them to build a war chest bigger than George W. ever thought of, for the next election. The new widow gets another ten percent, and the sympathy of a grieving, but grateful nation. Just imagine the last shot, taken from the Goodyear Blimp, looking down on the duelists, one standing, as his wife rushes to his side and embraces him, and the still form of the loser, as his widow gently rocks him in her arms. We're talking great television here!
Of course, CBS would have the exclusive run-up for the week, the arrival of the candidates in Hawaii, the target-practice, the beautiful last evenings between the candidates and the families before the duel.
CBS would also build the statue to the duelists which would go next to the Korean War Memorial on the mall in Washington.
From such a tawdry circumstance that the country finds itself in, we could help the nation find a new sense of honor and gentlemanly conductSIs this good or what?
Please get back to me by tomorrow night. Fox has been ringing my phone off the desk.