In the June issue of Wired, the President of the USA Network was interviewed about how the phrase “Characters Welcome” came about plus their checklist for what makes for good TV. She responded that (for the US audience,) there needs to be a slightly flawed but likable lead, strong drama with a dollop of humor and a positive tone. Also, its essence needs to be boiled down to a single sentence, referring to other known shows. She gave the example that “Royal Pains is Marcus Welby in the Hamptons.” I’ve heard the Jetsons described as Flintstones-In-Space though Star Trek was originally described as Wagon-Train-To-The-Stars .
It’s interesting to me in that I tend to want an elevator pitch to not refer to other entertainment. Since I’m less interested in being set in my ways and more interested in doing what works, perhaps I should just focus more on crafting a good pitch.