Wednesday, March 23, 2005



UPN has picked up the comedy pilot 'The Show With AJ Calloway', starring the BET personality. The pilot chronicles the life of AJ Calloway, whose stint as the host of a fictitious broadcast network late-night talk show is complicated by old flames, dysfunctional friends and ever-present family members.

By playing his own tele-version, it sounds like AJ Calloway is providing UPN with its own 'Seinfeld'. Of course, that's a high standard to strive for - 'The Drew Carey Show' succeeded with its variant; 'It's Like... You Know' didn't.

UPN comedies seem to aim more often for the lowest common denominator in my opinion. But I freely admit that, since UPN caters to a particular niche of the audience which doesn't include me, my impressions of its programming are based mostly on promos and episode guides.

Even so, my "job" is to help these prime time contenders find their network soulmates to make a connection. It's sort of a "TV-Harmony" dating service.

This fictionalized version of AJ Calloway has plenty of options; it all depends on where the show is located.

If it's in NYC, there could be several opportunities with the 'Girlfriends' - at least one episode for each member of the "sistah-hood". (Maybe he went to school with at least one of them? That's a tried and true cliche. Or better yet - one of them is his third cousin twice removed - from reality.)

Here's a chance to air out a couple of other TV cliches: Out on the Left Coast, perhaps Calloway could seek out his "old college buddy" Robert James, and (due to a misunderstanding) both of them could think the other is out for his job in an episode of 'All Of Us'.

Down in Miami, the DivaStyle company on 'Eve' could be an advertiser on AJ's talk show.

And there's always Baltimore - Calloway might compete with Flex Washington for an interview with some big sports star during 'One On One' or just get his hair cut at Pherenity on 'Cuts'.

As he'll have a national network talk show in Toobworld, AJ Calloway could be situated in any major city and then still travel to any of those other cities during Sweeps Weeks in order to visit those shows.

For example... how about Chicago? That way the producers could try for a major casting coup by snaring Oprah to appear as herself in a "very special episode".

And why not seek the producer of 'Girlfriends' to appear as his most famous character? In case you didn't know, that would be Kelsey Grammer whose most famous character was Dr. Frasier Crane.

'Frasier' has left the building and moved to Chicago in the 'Frasier' finale, and that's where he'd likely meet Mark Craig.

What do you think of the idea?

I'm listening.....


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