Sunday, December 22, 2013

An Open Letter to the Sprout Network

 Dear Head of Programming,

I apologize for the public forum in which I now write to you, but as I have received only a few cursory replies to my inquiries and résumés, I feel I have no other choice.  As my initial suggestions seem to have fallen on deaf ears, I am taking this opportunity to elucidate a three-pronged strategy to save your network.  I only hope that the public rallies behind my ideas and pressures the corporate power structure to adopt these much-needed changes.

1) Get real.  The modern toddler is very sophisticated, and yet, on your morning show, one of the main characters, Chica, isn’t even a real chicken.  Do you think your viewers can’t tell the difference?  The wires attached to her wings are a dead give-away!  Over and over, I find myself shouting at the television. “A real chicken doesn’t sound like that;” “Real chickens don’t sit still for story time;” and “Real chickens don’t dress up like 1940s-era detectives! Believe me, I’ve tried!”  I strongly urge you to replace Chica with a real hen, lest you send your core audience scrounging for more realistic entertainment.  Sure a real chicken would leave a lot of poop around the studio, but that’s the price you have to pay for believability.

2) Incorporate edgier material.  Your wholesome programming is far too tame for the modern toddler, who, statistics say, have already seen, like, 500 murders by the time they are four years old.  My kids have seen many more thanks to the Law and Order marathons I sometimes employ in lieu of baby sitters.  Kids today want to see the Berenstein Bears eat somebody, or one of the Pound Puppies maul a kid.  There are valuable lessons to be learned about staying away from bears and the pound that aren’t being taught anywhere else. 

This brings me to my next suggestion:

3) Deal with real issues.  I love that Caillou.   I sometimes pattern my parenting style after Caillou’s parents, but more often I pick up techniques watching old reruns of Roseanne.  Her kids turned out okay.  I mean, except for that one that had to be replaced with a different actress toward the end of the show’s run.  What was up with that, anyway?

Incidentally, why is Caillou bald-headed?  Does he have Charlie Brown’s disease?  If so, you might consider playing up that angle.  And what if, God forbid, Caillou died of his illness?  How would that affect his little sister Rosie, or his cat, Gilbert?  These are issues that should be explored. 

3) Add a little spice to the Goodnight Show.  I like the brunette in her pjs, but let’s take it up a notch and introduce some soft-core erotica.  At some point you have to say to yourself just how educational are you willing to go? 

Listen.  This is just the beginning.  There is a lot more I can bring to the table if you consider making me assistant director of programming.  Together we can really shake things up at Sprout and create the kind of programming that your audience won’t abandon by their fifth birthday.  I mean it.  I’m anxiously awaiting your reply.


Purvis McGrew

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