Channel 70 News: Episode 1

June 13, 2009 at 10:49 pm (Channel 70 news) (, )

*Author’s Note:  The dedscription here is what I wrote when the show was pitched for Duck U, so a few things are inaccurate or meant for further development that never happened.  For instnace, the Producer character never showed up, but in the original show pitch I hadn’t even planned on using Frank the Cameraman, who became a semi-regular character from there on out.

Also, interestingly enough for those of you watching the episodes on Youtube, you will see some large differences between the script and the actual performance, due to both improv and time contraints with editing.  However, one thing we couldn’t predict was that this episode almost didn’t air at all due to content that we didn’t know was against Duck U’s rules.  Namely, we couldn’t tell people to go rail a bottle of pills.  Why?  Oddly enough, we were allowed to tell have one character tell the other to kill themselves, but we weren’t allowed to give ideas on how to do it.  My last minute solution was to shoot a PSA before the episode went to air, thus wiping the problem from the episode.  However, this wouldn’t be our last PSA.

 

Channel 70 News

 

Written by Chris Pranger

 

Premise:  Channel 70 is the news channel that is dead last in their bracket and they know it.  Their program could be cancelled at absolutely any second and it shows.  Budget cuts have ravaged the show and they have very, very little that’s going well for them.  So every night they give the news, and every night they’re closer to being cancelled.

 

Characters:

 

Diana Miranda:  She is the straight man of the news, the typical news anchor that takes the news much too seriously.  Even though she knows that their show could be cancelled and it doesn’t matter what she says, she sticks to how she’s been trained.  She’s constantly making awkwardly bad jokes and comments and has a big fake smile on all the time.  As time progresses it becomes obvious that she’s getting closer to snapping.

 

Dave Trenton:  Dave is the complete opposite of Diana.  He hates his life and doesn’t care that people know it.  He’s never clean-shaven, wears his tie loose, and dresses sloppily.  He looks likes he’s always drunk and is always pissed.  His life is miserable and it seems that the only joy he gets from his pathetic existence is openly mocking Diana whenever he feels like it.  He basically has no tact at all.

 

Johnny Jenson:  Johnny pulls double duty as both the weather man and the sports anchor.  He’s crazy and is reminiscent of Harry Carry.  He could be on drugs, he could be homeless, he could be mentally handicapped, we’re not sure what’s up but something just isn’t right with him.  He hardly knows where he is and most of his lines should be improvised anyway.

 

Sam the Go-To Guy:  Sam’s last name will never be said, ever.  He’s the guy that they’ve hired to do special live reporting for them all the time and usually he’ll find himself in a situation where he’ll probably die.  Sam is frightened and paranoid because of this.  He’s also not well trained and his eyes wander when trying to do his live report.

 

Producer/Director:  The big man in charge of the show.  He never speaks, nor is his name ever spoken, but when he shows up it means that something very bad has happened.  He’s basically representative of death and wears a long flowing black cloak.  The others never want to see him ever.

 

 

Episode 1

 

Voice Over:  (As the voice over plays, there is a short opening of random images, much like you’d see in regular news).  And now, it’s the Northwest’s best news team, channel 70 News.  With Diana Miranda, (Image of Diana turning to the camera and smiling), and Dave Trenton, (Same thing but with Dave this time).

 

Diana:  (We actually see the two anchors sitting next to each other now.  Diana has a worriedly fake smile on her face and Dave is mad at the world.  Diana is holding her script.  Dave has his laid out in front of him).  Good evening.  I’m Diana Miranda.

 

Dave:  And I suppose that makes me Dave Trenton.

 

Diana:  And this is tonight’s news.  (Camera shift to just Diana).  Today, Roosevelt Zoo found itself in a tough situation when a bear escaped from its pen.  Zoo officials are unsure how this happened, but as far as they can tell, it was the work of some local hooligans.  It seemed that the three teens responsible wanted to have a picnic with these teddy bears.  (Very fake laugh).  Hahaha, ah.  Three teenagers dead.

 

Dave:  (Looks at his script).  What could possibly have gone wrong in the world today…?  So, Japan was hit hard today when a tsunami wiped out most of the Eastern coast of Kyoto.  Thousands were probably killed.  (Throws his script).  Do you care?  No, you don’t care, because you’re all a bunch of selfish bastards sitting at home in your nice cozy recliners, drinking your coffee and laughing with your happy spouse who loves you and didn’t leave you for my marriage councilor.  Your lives must all be just great(Turns to Diana, who’s looking very uncomfortable).

 

Diana:  Um…in other news, Microsoft has released an announcement that they’ll be creating a new version of Windows for the new year.  Boy Dave, I sure hope this version doesn’t freeze up when I try and type out the evening’s scripts.  (Turns to Dave with a smile).

 

Dave:  (Dave is not amused).  How do you live with yourself?

 

Diana:  (Laughs awkwardly).  Hahaha, oh Dave, you’re such a kidder.

 

Dave:  No I mean it.  What makes you feel compelled to wake up every morning?  Why don’t you just rail a bottle of Tylenol and end it all before someone does the job for you?  Huh?

 

Diana:  Uh…(Turns towards the camera).  Ahaha…

 

Dave:  Well now, let’s see what Johnny Jenson has for us.  How’s the weather looking out there Johnny?

 

Johnny:  The weather?  I’m gonna go ahead and say it Dave.  The world is gonna end within the end of the week.  (Turns to a chart that he’s drawn).  You see here Dave?  (Points at the chart).  We’re gonna be experiencing some heavy rains of fire, followed by absolute darkness.  As the world weeps, the lord of darkness himself will show up and then it’s anyone’s guess how it’ll all go down.  Partly cloudy.

 

Dave:  (Carema shifts back to Dave and Diana.  She looks terrified.  Dave doesn’t care).  That sounds about right.  (Is handed a random page of paper).  So, it seems that we have some breaking news here.  Turns out you all got your wish and someone’s getting shot at down on 13th.  Let’s go live to Sam the Go-To Guy.  Sam, how’s it looking down there?

 

Sam:  (Poor Sam will be in the middle of what sounds like a fire-fight on location).  Well Dave, I’m here on 13th and all I can think to do is pray that I see my loved ones again.

 

Dave:  Aren’t you special?

 

Sam:  As far as I can tell, one guy said some things at another guy and then that guy became angry and shot him.  Then someone else showed up and shot at the second guy, and by that time all hell had broken loose.  At some point the legions of gun-men joined up and barricaded themselves in a local convenience store to fight against the cops.

 

Diana:  Sounds more like an inconvenience store.

 

Dave:  With every fiber of my being I hate you.

 

Sam:  Ag!  (Grabs his side).  It seems that I’ve been hit by a stray bullet.  I’m starting to black out.  Well, with my last breath, I’m sending this back to you guys in the studio.

 

Dave:  Seems like as good a time as any to check the sports.  Johnny, since we can’t afford a separate sports anchor, how’s our sports team?

 

Johnny:  We didn’t win.  We never win.  It looked like a group of kindergarteners battling against a team of radioactive super giants.  The score was in numbers that I can’t even fathom Dave.  Numbers that I’ll have to make up in order to explain.  (Pulls up another chart with random scribbles on it).  The final score was eleventeen to panda space shuttle, but at least our team had heart.

 

Dave:  Right.  Well thank God, we’re out of time.  (Pulls a bottle from under the desk and begins drinking from it).

 

Diana:  That’s the news for tonight.  I’m Diana Miranda.

 

Dave:  And I’m partially drunk.

 

Diana:  Good night and have a wonderful evening.  (Camera pulls back with Diana worriedly looking over at Dave, who’s thrown his bottle and just begins yelling at Diana, although their audio is muted).

 

End of Episode 1

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