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Opinion

The King of comedies

9/12/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Craig Marks

On the Mark — By Craig Marks

Dear LeBron,

It was announced last week that you and your friend and business manager, Maverick Carter, will be executive producers of the sitcom “Survivor’s Remorse” on the Starz network. You should be applauded for making a commitment to scripted TV comedy when so much of TV is reality shows, talent contests and speculative documentaries on atmospheric phenomena (“Sharknado”).

“Remorse,” based loosely on your life, is the story of a north Philadelphia basketball star, Cam Calloway, who finds great fame. He and his cousin, Reggie Vaughn, have to deal with the guilt of having reached the top while others are unable to escape their tough lives. This should lead to many comedic and dramatic opportunities. For example, imagine the outrageous requests Cam receives from complete strangers who want to latch on to plum jobs in his organization. (Make me your show’s head writer and I’ll have more great ideas like this.)

If I may be so presumptuous, I’d like to share with you some sitcom notes. I feel comfortable offering you these notes, as we already have a creative relationship, having worked together on a previous project. (I made a nonspeaking appearance in your documentary film “More Than a Game” as “reporter in group,” and the movie reviewer for this newspaper called my performance “eight-tenths of a second of Brando-esque brilliance.”)

So, if you have your notepad ready, let’s begin:

  • First order of business: Familiarize people with the Starz network. On the viewer-awareness scale, it’s somewhere between CSPAN-2 and the channel that shows the “McHale’s Navy” and “Partridge Family” reruns.
  • I did some searching and could not find another sitcom with “remorse” in its title. I’m not saying you should change the name, but I doubt “Happy Days” would have been such a big hit had it kept its original title, “Forestalling the Sorrow to Come.”
  • Setting the show in Philadelphia? Really? Trading a Galley Boy for a — ugh — cheesesteak?
  • Help me win a bet. I wagered the kids that the show will be named “Vincent” and “Mary.”
  • Feel free to use this disclaimer: “The following is a work of fiction. That said, any similarities to anyone living — particularly living in Akron — is a tribute to the keen observational skills of LeBron and Maverick.”
  • You can learn a lot from sitcom legends. Betty White moved from Miami (“The Golden Girls”) to Cleveland (“Hot in Cleveland”) and became an even bigger star. Just saying.

Well, that’s it for now, LeBron. You should be receiving my spec script in the mail by the end of business day.

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