There are just some entertainment news items you read that make you double-check the byline to make sure you’re not reading a news parody from The Onion. You just cannot believe that functioning adults with oxygen actually reaching their brains can come up with this stuff.
The item I read stated that CBS has given the pilot episode go-ahead to a proposed 2013 sitcom titled Gorgeous Morons, which is described as a comedy about "Two stunningly handsome but dumb brothers (a model and a personal trainer) who find their lives rocked by their new roommate, a female literature PhD., who is merely very attractive."
I know that some TV writers just need to make a living and wouldn't care if the alphabet read backwards were developed into a multi-camera sitcom, so long as they were employed. But does network television hold the viewing public in that much contempt (or have we sunk so low?) that a premise like Gorgeous Morons actually sounds good to someone? Are grown men and women really involved with this project or is it a result of the proverbia - Put 100 monkeys in a room with 100 typewriters and you're bound to get a TV sitcom out of it - scenario?
The description alone is enough to make your jaw drop. And if these are the kinds of shows the networks order pilot episodes of, taking the trouble and expense of casting, writing, and producing...what kind of stuff gets turned down? We've all accepted that Reality TV is a dumbed-down genre on purpose. Has it reached the stage where scripted television has to out-dumb this bottom feeder genre?
Of course, none of this is anything new. Back in the 60s, CBS executive James Thomas Aubrey (the inspiration for novelist Jacqueline Susann’s, The Love Machine) made millions on a television programming platform built around (as he put it) "Broads, bosoms, and fun." His legendary lack of respect for the intelligence of the television audience ("The American public is something I fly over") produced The Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan’s Island. Two TV shows whose then-aggressive stupidity stood in stark contrast to the high-mindedness of The Golden Age of Television cultural programming like Playhouse 90 and David Susskind’s roundtable discussions.
It's said that no one in Hollywood ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the audience. And when it comes to television, such thinking is likely to get you a multi-Emmy-winner like Two and a half Men. Still...Gorgeous Morons? Maybe it will go the way of Cavemen, the already forgotten 2007 sitcom about those GEICO Insurance Cro-Magnons.