You've Got Viewers--Mad Men's Producer's got Radio Shack TV Drama

Funny story written by Colorado Joe

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Vancouver, BC-Lionsgate Television, the producer of the hugely successful period television drama Mad Men, plans to follow up on its success with another period drama set in a woebegone shopping mall.

Entitled Radio Shack, this program features a group of high school and college people, some of whom are fluent in electronics, others of whom can't tell the difference between a smartphone and a "dumbphone", according to Matthew Weiner, the producer of the proposed television show.

"Mad Men is winding down right now so I needed something to follow up on its big success," Weiner said. "Then I heard about the fall of Radio Shack and had a hard time trying to find an electronic synthesizer in my local Radio Shack store at my local shopping mall, which seemed to attract more rats than human beings.

"And voila-I got an idea for the next big blockbuster for the AMC cable channel! All I had to do was to buy the rights to the Radio Shack name and logo and read the local news and talk to a few geeks from Silicon Valley and I was on my way!"

Radio Shack is currently in bankruptcy and Weiner was able to obtain the rights to the name and trademark at "fire sale" prices, he added.

Among the cast members of Radio Shack would be Bill Stevens, a nerdy fellow with zits and horn-rimmed glasses which would be fixed with rubber cement who would always be coming in the store. Sometimes he would go back into the storerooms and look for spare parts for what he called a "personal computer".

"Stevens' character his device will change the world," Weiner added. "He also plans to write the software for that computer that will do accounting, write reports, slide shows, transmit mail, send birthday greetings and ultimately make him a billionaire-at least."

Another cast member would be an employee calling herself "Amy Zone", a rival software designer who would work with Stevens, yet be a rival to him and to Radio Shack. "She also has dreams," Weiner explained. "She plans to establish a service in which people could order anything-yes, anything--from books to clothes to parts for electronics without having to going to a store such as Radio Shack."

As the drama evolves, the manager, "Otto Touch", a clueless fellow, according to Weiner, will ignore the changing times of the 1980s and early 1990s and continue to stock synthesizers, CB radios, Realistic® Weatheradios in fake wood finish, Science Fair® kits for kids and even television antennas. Weiner added that he purchased the rights to the Realistic and Science Fair trademarks when he purchased the Radio Shack name. "Those trademarks were at fire sale prices," he explained.

The drama will probably end as a hybrid of a period drama and an unscripted reality TV show. As did the real Radio Shack end its years by emphasizing the sale of cell phones, so will the one on AMC. Weiner noted that the actors who would be few in number (as often seemed to be the case in many a real-life Radio Shack store) would jump out at customers, who would not be movie set extras, but extras from the community where the series is filmed.

The actors would use the show's potential catch-phrase, "How's your cellphone service?" depending on whether or not a customer had come into buy a cellphone or part such as a floppy disc or electronic keyboard.

"We plan to use real customers, who would be harassed at non-union wages, and want to earn a little spending money by getting harassed by our actors," Weiner explained. "If one of the customers punches one of our actors-that is the 'Radio Shack employee' in the nose or even reads that employee the riot act, we might edit that reaction into the TV show. Think Candid Camera-only in a vacant shopping mall."

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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