Several years ago my partner and I had a pilot deal with a studio. At the time we were told that the networks were looking for “out of the box” ideas and one popular trend was to take real life personalities and create fictional shows around them. (I guess this approach worked sooo well for Bette Midler’s BETTE.) But the more outrageous the personality the better. We said to the studio executives, yeah, but can any of these people act? Guess the network geniuses (now no longer in those jobs, by the way) didn’t think of that. But we said we were willing to at least explore this area.
A few days later they called and said, “Would we be interested in developing a show around Traci Lords?” We thought, really, she wants to do a sitcom? Isn’t that a big come down from porn? But we were told she was serious so we said, sure, we’ll take a meeting. Why not? How often do we get to meet porn stars without paying?
We cooked up a series idea that would show Traci trying to make it as a legit actress having to deal with the added baggage of her questionable past. We would see her home life, work struggles, “colorful” former co-workers – your typical sitcom world. We would call the series THE TRACI LORDS FAMILY SHOW.
So off we went to meet her, knowing full well no network in their right mind would EVER put on a Traci Lords show. Try selling that to the red states affiliates.
We met her at her manager’s office and to answer the obvious first question – she still looked pretty great. Not smoking but she made the transition into legal age very nicely. However, one thing was painfully apparent after two minutes – she was seriously unfunny. And yet, that didn’t stop her from LECTURING us on comedy. As we sat there dumbfounded listening to her drone on and on about what’s funny and what’s not I thought to myself, this is truly the nadir of my career.
I will say, to our credit, that we were quiet, respectful, and at no time did either of us stop her and say, “Excuse me, dear, do we tell YOU how to give a golden shower?”
Alas, we didn’t do the project. I hear she found some other writers. I guess the show didn’t sell.
Oh well. I’m sure she’s now on to procedural drama, explaining forensics to the CSI gang.