So much for the Rev. Daniel Webster, the pill-popping Episcopal priest, and his dysfunctional family.
NBC has canceled “The Book of Daniel,” the Friday night drama that featured the Vicodin-addicted priest, his boozing wife, gay son and a bisexual aunt. Oh yeah. And don’t forget Jesus.
What a shame. I never saw the show. But the Hound in me says this would have been a terrific way for Episcopal churches all over the world to piggyback onto this TV show. They could have provided local commentary from their own parishioners, letters to the editor of their local newspapers, religion page features and radio talk shows comparing the fictional Webster family with the real Episcopal church. Already, Jim Naughton had created the blogofdaniel.com website for the Diocese of Washington.
Pay attention to prime-time TV shows, and use every chance you can to piggyback your ideas onto these shows, particularly the most popular ones. Here are some ideas to get you started:
—Ice skating teachers should comment on what kind of training and rehearsals are needed for the celebrities featured on “Skating with Celebrities.” If we practice for four weeks straight under the watchful eye of a coach, just like they do, can we hoist our partner in the air, dance on ice and skate backwards? Has the show led to a renewed interest in figure skating?
—What about “Dancing with the Stars”? Most guys I know hate this show. But are women dragging their boyfriends and husbands to dance classes?
—The popular hit “Antiques Roadshow” leaves many of us dreaming of finding a fortune at a Saturday morning yard sale or in the pile of junk grandma left us. Antique store owners can offer tips on what we can learn about antiques and collecting from watching the show.
—“CSI,” the Thursday night hit, can be the perfect springboard for forensics teachers to discuss whether actual crime seen investigators have jobs that bear any resemblance to the drama on CBS. Has this show led to more students seeking careers in forensics?
—I love all the cooking shows on PBS. But why does it always look so easy on TV? When I made a recipe recently for low-carb onion-olive bread featured on one of the shows, my kitchen looked like a disaster area. Chefs, cooking school teachers and foodies can offer tips on how the pros on TV stay organized and keep a clean workspace.
Once you have the tie-in and the angle, it’s time for the pitch. But you must do it in 30 seconds or less. So says Publicity expert Raleigh Pinskey, a master when it comes to pitching. She recorded a teleseminar with me called “How to Create the Perfect 30-Second Pitch” and said the most important thing you must do within the first 5 to 10 seconds of your pitch is get the media’s attention.
So lead with your best stuff and pitch in chunks. If a reporter likes the first 15 seconds of your pitch, give ’em the next 15-second chunch, and so on. One of the biggest mistakes people make pitching is giving the entire pitch right out of the gate.