How The Mighty Have, Etc.

A decade ago, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick were the golden boys at NBC (remember them?) with their then-new creation, Will & Grace. Now look at what they’re working on:

Twitter sensation Shit My Dad Says is headed to television.

CBS has picked up a comedy project based on the Twitter account, which has enlisted more than 700,000 followers since launching in August and has made its creator, Justin Halpern, an Internet star.

“Will & Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are on board to executive produce and supervise the writing for the multicamera family comedy, which Halpern will co-pen with Patrick Schumacker. Halpern and Schumacker will also co-exec produce the Warner Bros. TV-produced project, which has received a script commitment.

The article also says that “The comedy’s title will change if it gets on the air.” Yes, I suppose so.

I try not to pre-judge these things; not every show based on a fad — social media, commercials, whatever — is automatically bad. (Cavemen was not a bad show at all.) But does this sort of thing ever really work? The idea seems to be that the network will get publicity and brand-name recognition for doing an adaptation, more than they’d get if they just did an “original” script on a similar topic. But the amount of negative publicity they get usually winds up outweighing the positive value of the brand name.

Remember the ABC executive who got pilloried for saying what was obviously true — that sometimes it’s better to create a loose imitation of a foreign show rather than paying to adapt the show itself? Well, here’s a corollary: sometimes it’s better to create a show that is an obvious imitation of a current fad, rather than base the show directly on the fad. I have a feeling that a show about a young man living with an elderly father (an idea that isn’t copyrighted) would get a better reception than a show based on a Twitter feed.

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