Television has some applications for us too. Think about it. They’ve done ALL of our research for us.
Look at daytime talk shows like Springer and Montel and Jenny Jones and any of the court or judge programs. They wouldn’t recycle the same six topics if they didn’t work.
Side note – one of the morning shows wanted to do something and was advised by their consultant “Ah, it seems a little too Springerish”. To which I replied, “Yeah, that show was a fucking failure.” Sigh.
You need something for Mothers Day? “My Mom Dresses Too Damn Sexy” and “I Don’t Know Which One Of These 39 Dudes Is My Baby’s Daddy” wouldn’t have been done 800 times already if they sucked.
Ditto with whatever is the hot TV show of the moment. And there’s always one that is the buzz show for your listeners. The stations that I think screw it up are the ones that do a direct ripoff of the show, ie: any of the stations that did stuff like Kansas City Idol in the early ‘00s. We’ll never do it better than the TV show, so parody it or spin it, like Drive Thru Employee Idol or Crackwhore Idol at Wild in Tampa.
If you think about it, half of our stunt methodologies in the past decade stemmed from “Survivor” which is really a ripoff of a thousand radio contests from the 80’s and 90’s.
Great morning shows are like the casts of great TV sitcoms. There are clearly defined characters and secondary characters and even some cameos. Just like Seinfeld with his neatness fetish great, listeners of Mix in Boston have long known of Kennedy’s phobia of aluminum foil.
It’s the little personality quirks that people can identify with, just like they do with their favorite TV characters.
Look at some of the sitcoms that went the distance. That ended on their own terms and weren’t cancelled. And they all share some of the same clichés and plot twists. There’s a visiting relative that one of the cast sleeps with. There’s a series of episodes when it appears one of them is leaving. They get locked in a store or business overnight. They’re put in charge at work while the boss is sick or out of the country. One of them sees the other one naked. There’s a misunderstanding over who likes who.
Doubt me? Google “sitcom clichés”. They’re all there. Now just go through and see what you can take and spin for your own station or show.
Because in a medium where everyone is afraid to try something new, television has already done the hard work for us.