If you had the chance to pitch an idea for a TV show featuring disablity, to a room full of production company executives and renowned directors, what kind of show would you suggest?
I was inspired to think about this by an episode of The Light Bulb, a podcast about storytelling and popular culture by Alaistair Stephens and Lani Diane Rich. In a recent episode, they challenged each other to come up with a TV show "pitch", choosing genres, selecting story tropes, and casting known actors. It was a lot of fun to listen to, and they seemed to have fun talking out their ideas. And since I am already very interested in how TV does disability, it seemed natural to start thinking about what kind of a TV show I would make.
Instead of answering that question myself though, I'm going to ask you, the reader, what your dream disability TV show would look like.
What's your pitch?
What kind of network would it be on ... a network like CBS, a premium cable network like HBO, public television, a streaming service like Netflix, or a web series on YouTube?
What genre would you choose ... police procedural, medical drama, sit-com, late night variety, family, sex / relationships, fantasy / supernatural, superhero, science fiction, political thriller, or action / adventure?
Would your disability show have stand-alone episodes following a set formula, or would it have long story arcs and deep character development?
What kind of tone would your show have ... accessible to a mass audience, quirky and innovative, sexy or raunchy, political, traditional, or artistically innovative?
And how would you use disabled characters and disability themes?
Would you include disabled main characters, secondary, minor characters, or extras? Would you focus on youth, teens, adults, or seniors?
Or, would you start small with a disability-themed episode of an existing show?
Share your pitches in the comments below. If there's enough interest, I might set up a SurveyMonkay survey where we can all pick our categories and characteristics to create a collective "ideal" disability TV show!