More on the creator of Room Raiders.
We’ll call him Mr. T. T was sent to the US by his British production company to establish a beach-head in reality television. He turned one sheet of paper into about 10 million dollars with Room Raiders.
He pitched RR to MTV. They loved it and developed it over a year. Three versions of a pilot. We went to the launch party. MTV loved it, the audience loved it, Graden loved it, all was well. They ended up making over 100 episodes.
Mr. T. was and is a class act. He was the best memory of my TV years. Some time before the RR launch, my partner found out about him, called up, set an appointment, and boom! there we were, in Mr. T’s office. We pitched him our bag of shows. He loved a few, enough to have us back to explore ideas numerous times. We would have great meetings where we brainstormed the most outrageous shows. He whittled his wit in London on Monty Python, Beyond the Fringe, Faulty Towers, and the other Brit TV as a kid. He is, I’m guessing about 57. Mind of a 23 year old. Quite an incongruous experience seeing his proper demeanor and hearing his out-of-this-world show ideas. (Mr. T has recently left Granada after successfully launching about half-dozen shows.)
It was quite a head-trip to know, if any one of our show ideas took root in our minds, we could nurture it into an actual television program. Thinking up reality television is quite silly, almost like an adult party game. No script. Just an idea that has to be able to hold water past one episode. If anyone with a great concept can get in front of a production company, boom! Oil! Ask Mark Burnett of Survivor fame. He was a nanny when he thought up Survivor.
I really enjoyed conceptualizing the future of television. Nevermind that I never watch reality TV. Not much TV at all really. But I love the interplay of ideas and the creative process. From this perspective, riffing with Mr. T. was nitrous oxide.
After many meetings, we would go on to develop a new show with Mr. T. taking the lead as we pitched it everywhere. Our new show was kind of an animated “celebrity blender”. A comical riff on pop-culture. What would happen if an episode of “24” was about Jack Bauer saving the world from Britney on the loose. What if Paris, Britney, and Lindsey did High School Musical 3 from a rehab facility, etc. You get the idea. After two pitches it was picked up by VH1. We now had two shows at Vh1. The Iron Chef Fashion thing, and now the celebrity blender thing. Now all that had to happen was to get it past legal. Get the legal ducks in order and we’d have two development deals. Not bad for two guys with overactive imaginations.
Legal…Don’t get me started. At least not today…