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In the Cards

In the Cards

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I know, I know. You came to JimHillMedia.com this morning looking for stories, but wound up with A story. Well, you're just going to have to forgive me, guys. But it's going to take me another couple of days to get back up to speed after my latest trip out west.

Why the delay? First of all, there's the jet lag to deal with. Then there's the divorced Daddy blues to shake off. (You'd think that -- over the years -- it would get easier to say "Goodbye" to Alice. Nope. It just gets tougher and tougher. Particularly since my daughter and my ex are headed to Honolulu later this year ...)

Well, thank goodness for John Lockamy. While I'm busy unpacking and doing laundry, John has put together a fun new story for the site. So here goes ...


 

I don't know how familiar you are with the creator of Chuck Lorre. But he has been the writer/producer behind some great comedies of the last decade, among them "Roseanne," "Grace Under Fire," "Cybil," "Dharma & Greg" and most recently "Two and a Half Men." When Chuck formed his own production company a few years ago, he designed his vanity card (the production logo that flashes at the end of every episode) to be a full screen rant of his thoughts of the day.

Every episode of "Two and a Half Men" has a new one. They're often just stream of consciousness monologues. And -- in order to read these -- you really have to record and then freeze frame the screen. These vanity cards are written in tiny print that you have to squint to read. Because of this, 99.99 percent of viewers will never read them. Which gives Lorre a lot of free reign to write about whatever he wants.

Luckily, I have a Tivo and I froze the screen at the right moment to see his submissions for the last couple of episodes of "Two and a Half Men," where Chuck has taken a couple of really sharp pokes at the Mouse. First up are Lorre's comments from the end of the February 16th episode. Where -- in response to Comcast's attempt to acquire the Walt Disney Company -- Chuck made his own bid on the Mouse:

A WHITE KNIGHT FOR DISNEY!

Sources in Hollywood announced today that Chuck Lorre has made a friendly bid to purchase the Disney Company. His all cash offer of five million dollars (in small bills) plus an S500 Mercedes with only 34,000 miles, Braebus rims and a tricked-out sound system, combined with his successful track record of writing, producing and creating hits for ABC (Roseanne, Grace Under Fire, Dharma and Greg) offers the Disney stockholders an opportunity to escape the clutches of cable giant Comcast. Should his offer be accepted, Lorre plans to create a major motion picture based on the "Teacup" ride and the ride with the fake hippos in the water. As far as ABC was concerned, Lorre said creating hits for network TV is a very difficult proposition but he doubted that he could do much worse than that "Are You Hot" thing. In exchange for rescuing Disney, his only demand was that he be allowed to run the company part-time. His reasoning being that he loves writing and producing Two and a Half Men. He did indicate that he would come in on the weekends to read scripts and approve price increases at the theme parks.

Next up is Lorre's vanity card for last week's episode of "Two and a Half Men," where Chuck nominates himself as a viable candidate for the position of CEO of the Walt Disney Company:

An open letter to the board of Disney

If you are indeed seeking new leadership, I urge you to think outside the box. And what's outside the box? Me. Overlooking for the moment my ill-fated attempt to buy your company outright, I would like you to now consider me as an appropriate choice for CEO. What are my qualifications? Well to begin with, I own a beautiful Zegna suit and I know where to buy more (this may sound silly, but let's face it, half the job is looking CEOish). I am in awe of Harvey Weinstein and Steve Jobs and will act like a slavish sycophant in all my dealings with them (at least until I get a deal to write and direct a quirky movie for Miramax about a troubled sitcom writer, and a Mac G-5 from Jobs at dealer cost). While were on the subject of key corporate relationships, I will also make every effort to get along with Roy for the simple reason that he looks so much like his uncle it's spooky. I think internationally (e.g. I will make a respectful, but action-packed buddy movie about Krishna and Buddha which won't open big in the U.S. but will do boffo box office in parts of the world where there are lots of people). I will be a real team leader and encouage our network execs to make TV shows that don't suck. I will lessen our reliance on minimum wage teenagers dancing around dressed as big headed cartoon characters. I'm not a big hockey fan but I'll keep the Ducks going because as a professional comedy writer I understand the importance of the word "puck" not to mention the inherent laughs that come with big guys on skates hitting each other with sticks. And finally, to demonstrate my comprehension of corporate synergy, I will immediately commission thrilling new roller-coasters to be built in Anaheim that incorporate elements of two legendary ABC series, Dharma and Greg and Grace Under Fire (I can personally guarantee that the Grace ride will be very scary).

I just thought the two above vanity cards might make for an enjoying read for those of us who are a little starved for new dirt on the whole CEO fight. It's an interesting (although surely tongue-in-cheek) take on the job, and brings some much needed levity to this whole battle.

Chuck Lorre is well known in television circles for his battles with his strong willed and always outspoken female stars (namely Roseanne, Cybil Shepherd and Brett Butler). If Chuck can go head to head with those women, he can surely handle Disney's board of directors.

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