We couldn’t help but notice that ratings are down. That the Sox are no longer the sure thing they used to be. And that the pre-game shows just kinda melt into each other.
But don’t sweat it, NESN programmers; your pals here at Surviving Grady have got your bailout plan. Personally, we think that The Adventures of Ellsbury ‘n’ Elf (which the Globe’s Eric Wilbur tossed out there for NESN’s consideration on Twitter) and Youk and Lowell: Cops With Guns, would plug into your late night schedule far better than those “shamwow” infomercials. But lest you think us mere two-trick ponies, we respectfully submit the following pitches, each of which we stand ready to let you develop in exchange for an MBTA bus full of cash, BC girls and Slurpees.
Tim Wakefield and the Legion of Folks Who Are Ridiculously Nice, Often to Their Own Detriment: Sox journeyman Tim Wakefield teams up with Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Robot Mother Theresa to right wrongs, vanquish evil doers and develop understanding throughout the free world (kicking off with an epic four-episode arc in which the gang goes back in time to alter the course of history so that Adolph Hitler grows up to become one of Germany’s most celebrated mimes.) For their efforts, the team is rewarded with indifference, hostility, and being left off the post-season roster.
Teabaggin’ With Terry: Despite the risque title, this lively talk-show will feature Terry Francona and a select group of guests drinking Bigelow tea and waxing rhapsodic on a range of hot topics from the daily news. Regular segments will include “Johnny Pesky, Old and Gay” (it means “happy” in this sense, but the controversy will boost early ratings), the DeMarlo Hale “Bowel Cam” (we can work out the details, but it’s medically safe and vastly entertaining, especially on “croissant day”) and, of course, The Wes Chamberlain Dancers.
Caught Looking: A “hidden camera” show in which a visibly inebriated Heidi Watney is sent out to hit on married guys at popular pre- and post-game watering holes like Copperfields and The Cask. For every dude she succeeds in coaxing back to the “NESN Love Van” (where a number of thugs await, ready to beat the guy within an inch of his life), $100 is donated to a local charity. And we get enough blackmail material to fill the cash void left by lost advertisers.
Nothing to Say with Hideki Okajima: A fascinating twist on morning talk-fests, this show will feature Hideki alone on a stage, staring blankly at a steady parade of guests, refusing to ask them about their movie that opens this weekend or their new CD or why the f$%k he didn’t field that bunt properly against the Mariners.
Life With Kevins: Note the “s” at the end of “Kevin”? That’s because this show features both Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Millar as roommates embarking on one get-rich-quick scheme after another, all somehow involving hookers. Although tentatively set in the present day, we may want to consider putting these guys in the 1800s for one reason: bowler hats. Oh, and their neighbor is a dragon.
Don and Jerry: Life In the Booth: A psuedo-documentary show in which Don O and the Remdawg are locked inside their NESN brodcast booth during the apocalypse (which hasn’t actually happened, unbeknownst to them). Hidden cameras capture their every move, including the realization that they may be alone in the world, desperation as they fight over the last Fenway Frank, the unavoidable and spectacularly disturbing descent into man-on-man passion and their inspiring yet ultimately doomed attempts to radio for help using a transmitter constructed from baseballs, microphone wires and cigarettes. I’m already envisioning a season-ending cliffhanger in which the booth door is opened to reveal a scroungy, bearded Jerry gnawing on DO’s pancreas.
F$%kin’ Shit Up on a Boat with Josh Beckett: You know that Crazy Fisherman show you do? With the guy just kinda sitting around on his boat and fishin’? That’s the blueprint for this show, which features Josh and a revolving cast of “first mates” — perhaps some of his Red Sox teammates, perhaps some inmates from the local correctional facility — bombing around various waterways in a souped up speedboat, hassling fellow sailors and beachgoers. I’m thinking harpoons would up the entertainment quotient, but your legal people might want to check that.
The Two Jacobys: A sci-fi series in which we follow the lives of “real world Jacoby,” a tough-talkin’, hard-nosed ballplayer, and “alternate reality Jacoby,” a simpering, bespectacled nebbish who is constantly ailing and complaining about how “the government just wants to cut down all our trees.” I swear it has nothing to do with Jacoby’s extended stint on the DL, although there is a character named “The Incredible Injury-Prone Pussy.”
Wally’s Run: Each week, a derelict or homeless person (we can grab someone from Pinestreet or off a bench in front of the Hurley building on Staniford) will be drugged, fused into the Wally The Green Monster costume, and dropped by plane into some Latin American country, where they’ll be forced to fend for themselves to get their asses back to the states. Those who make it back are rewarded with a respectable job at a Southie meatpacking plant. Those who don’t become official property of local drug cartels.
Eat This! with Julian Tavarez: I really haven’t thought this past the title, but when you’ve got one this good, everything else is just details. Could be a cooking show, straight-up porn or something involving puppets.