Monday, May 24, 2010

The #1 show you haven't heard of(yet) - Front Page

I'll be short and sweet...this is the treatment of a television drama for which I already have the show bible and the pilot script for. The one thing that I'm working to get for it is the production company.

Front Page

A television treatment by Garrett Rogers

WGA registration #1418846

Downtown at The Chicago Post news building, the word of the day is pressure. There is the owner of the Post, Stephen A. Garrison, a wealthy billionaire who sometimes feels the pressure of trying to keep a newspaper solvent let alone lucrative in an internet based world. His editor-in-chief, Barbara Jacobs, is a stern, headstrong woman who feels the pressure from Stephen to make the paper successful and the pressure to maintain leadership over her staff without establishing a tyrannical approach, all the while feeling the self-inflicted pressure to accomplish her own personal goals.

Every person inside The Chicago Post building contributes to the success or failure of the newspaper and to that end, everyone feels the anxiety and pressure of working at a newspaper in their own different way. There’s the accountant, Dac Kien Trần, a man who prides himself on his impeccable knowledge of the financial sector all the while thinking himself faultless. Tara Fedorov, is the director of human resources and the first and usually last face that a potential Post employee sees. She is notorious for her abrasive demeanor and harsh mouth that many feel only masks past pain. Fernando Guzmán is a sports reporter and a sloven, tactless male chauvinist who isn’t really a sports fan and lacks the passion of one, but has a limitless knowledge of sports facts and is one of the Post’s best writers.

Craig Jennings is a clean cut and passionate man who seems too good to be true and is applying for a sports reporter position on the pilot of the show. The editorial writer, Anthony Pleasant, is an idealistic, liberal democrat who despises anyone who would claim to be a republican yet struggles not to make the paper his own personal soapbox. Mickey Hughes is a cartoonist for the paper and a man that everyone else would love to have a beer with. The only problem for Mickey is that he has a personal issue which he wrestles to come to terms with and has a hard time making any true social connection because of it.

The news reporters are an intelligent albeit occasionally egocentric lot. Ronald Paulsen has aspirations of being the next Walter Cronkite so he is constantly in search of the next big story which could help him launch his name into super stardom. He often attempts this feat regardless of who his exploits might offend or harm. Kristin Lawrence is a Rutgers educated reporter who is dedicated to the facts yet abhors the fact that she lives in a male driven society and refuses to adhere to any female archetype that men envision for her. While she refuses to be stereotyped, she isn’t above using her feminine wiles to manipulate someone else for her own benefit. Terrence Edwards is an aspiring rock star with a troubled past who sees his job as a reporter as a paying gig until his band's big break while Abd-Al-Malik Kassab is a proud Middle Eastern man who has lived in the U.S. the majority of his life yet is consistently profiled by ignorant and pretentious xenophobes which tends to drive Kassab to occasional fits of anger or depression.

Emmett Schroeder is an old and haggard photographer who is distrusting towards strangers and all managerial personnel, and harbors numerous conspiracy theories. Madeline Barbosa is the perfect antithesis to Emerson because she is a young woman who believes in the inherent good of men and sees her position as a starting point to do great things. The janitor of The Chicago Post is Solomon Morgan, and Solomon is the man that knows a little bit about everyone who works at the Post since from his position, he is usually in the background of every conversation and any dealing that happens in the building. He is a proud man who enjoys his work and not only demands respect but gives it to those who he feels deserves it. Yazmin Ramirez is the resident advice columnist and Post sex kitten who shares her intuitive advice with everyone while her sexual innuendo keeps every man interested.

Pierre Fournier is the newspaper’s food critic and a pompous, pretentious connoisseur of extravagant food and fine wine who not only expects everyone to hang onto his every word, but keeps every restaurant he visits on “pins and needles” anytime he visits. Matt Thompson is the tech writer who is not only obsessed with science fiction and anything modern, but maintains a quiet humility even though he is the smartest person at the Post. Thompson spends most of his time online, reading a magazine, or daydreaming about future possibilities.

The possibility for drama, tension, passion, and humor at the newspaper is limitless due to the number of possible interactions while involved in a strenuous work environment. Television dramas thrive on the personal connections that are made and destroyed based on unfolding events, and at the newspaper, the events are twofold based on what everyone is going through and the current events that are taking place which can turn the newspaper on its ear at a moment’s notice. With this in mind, the show can be driven not only by the creative element of the writers involved, but by current events ripped from the news as well.

Every day, news happens and every day, our lives are somehow changed because of the events that unfold around us. Whether it is in the political or financial sector, whether it concerns religious beliefs, or even if it pertains to the criminal element, the public is affected. Because of these numerous events, we rely on news reporters, gossip columnists, and people paid to give their opinions to tell us about these daily happenings. The people at the Chicago Post aren't always involved in what happens in the world, but they are deeply entrenched in the business of relaying to the rest of the world what's happening in their backyard and everyone else's. This isn't the front line, but this is the front page!

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