Every year around this time television networks start teasing their fall lineup of new shows. And every year I laugh at how increasingly derivative and formulaic they are. (I mean seriously, how many more reboots do we need of CSI and American Idol?) But instead of laughing, this year I stepped it up a notch and wrote my own pitches for a fall lineup. A lineup inspired by existing popular shows, but spun to be completely centered on the staffing industry. Enjoy.
Type: Reality Show
Working Title(s): The Recruitment Race / Staffer Showdown
Synopsis: In The Bachelor one single guy has to choose “the perfect mate” from a pool of 25 single women. In Project Runway, designers have to create fashionable garments with very little time or money. This show follows a pool of recruiter candidates, who every day are asked to make perfect candidate-to-client matches. The “catch” is that the show will impose stress-inducing variables such as where they’re allowed to search and how long they have to search. Episode #76, for instance, picks up at 4:45pm on a Friday as recruiters must find an experienced light industrial worker inside a shopping mall … while blindfolded! Tune in next week when the recruiters are taken to a bar during happy hour as a reward for their hard work, only to be given a surprise challenge wherein they must find a qualified candidate before bar close while totally smashed.
Type: Crime Drama & Courtroom Procedural
Working Title(s): CSI: OSHA / Law & Job Order
Synopsis: In the workforce justice system, the candidates are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the government agencies that impose the regulations and the people who take down the offenders. These are their stories. (ominous “chung CHUNG!”) With each episode, evil employers and sneaky staffers take advantage of employees, and an unlikely duo punishes the wrongdoers. One is a stuffy female OSHA agent who plays by the book, and the other is a rogue staffer hell-bent on delivering justice the only way he knows how – by wearing sunglasses and making punishment puns. Tune in this week as the pair investigates an industrial beheading at a site with no safety precautions, only to also discover an illegal foreign worker ring. (sudden shot of a skyline and “YEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHH!”)
Type: Comedy Sitcom
Working Title(s): LinkedIn Friendship / Two and a Half Employed People
Synopsis: This laughs-a-minute hit show follows three unlikely friends who also happen to live together: a staffer, an employer, and a job-seeker. The mustachioed employer is a staunch Conservative who always seems to be complaining about spending money – that is, when he’s not brazenly harassing his constantly texting Millennial roommate who can’t seem to find work despite his English Lit degree. And as you can imagine, the quirky-but-kind female staffer always seems to be caught in the middle. Oh the shenanigans! Tune in this week when the staffer brings home her favorite Girl Scout cookies. The job-seeker mistakenly eats them all and must ask the employer’s help to replace them, but he refuses because at $4 a box they might as well be a government plot to suck more money out of taxpayers.
Type: Hobbies & Collectibles Program
Working Title(s): Talent Pickers / Recruitment Roadshow
Synopsis: In the vein of shows like Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers, this half-hour program follows a series of veteran recruiters as they head to little-known places in an effort to find untapped talent. After gathering information from said talent, they head back to their headquarters to have their résumés assessed by respected hiring professionals, who provide a bill rate value to quantify how much a prospect is “worth.” Tune in this week for a special IT talent episode where the recruiters search for potential candidates in dark basements and crawl spaces in Silicon Valley.
Type: Historical Drama
Working Title(s): Temp Abbey / Mad MenPower
Synopsis: It’s the glorious 1960s, and the start of staffing’s heyday. Told in hour-long episodes, this program portrays the inner-workings at totally fictional companies such as MenPower, Molly Services, and Holding HandStand. Watch as the wealthy and successful executives smoke cigarettes in their offices, ignore racial minorities, and hire more secretaries to sleep with. Also, they drink a lot. Check out this week’s episode, which shows one staffer’s inner debate about helping the Army recruit soldiers for Vietnam and another engaging in an affair with Kelly, his newest talent prospect and also his wife’s best friend.
Type: Nonsensical Musical
Working Title: Let’s Take It Hire!
Synopsis: The workers at Expert Employment Inc. are your typical staffers. They represent all nationalities, all sexual orientations, and – oh yeah – the receptionist is in a wheelchair. They have to deal with difficult relationships, daily disappointments, and daunting deadlines, not to mention all of the other trending social issues of today. And like all staffing companies, this one of course copes with these difficulties completely through song. (There’s also an evil cheerleading coach who hates the singing staffers, for some reason.) Tune in this week as CEO Sam reaches out to a potential client that he also finds attractive (while singing a mash-up of Rihanna’s Hate That I Love You and The Police’s Don’t Stand So Close to Me), and Recruiter Rachel debates changing her Facebook profile picture to a red equals sign (while singing a mash-up of Lady Gaga’s I Was Born This Way and Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like a Lady).