Elevator Pitch: An Elegant Solution for Networks to Cope with Ongoing Television Writers' Strike [LINK]
A new elimination-style reality show. Participants are judged by their ability to pitch ideas for new reality shows to a panel of television executives and/or celebrity experts. Regardless of whether they win each round, participants retain rights if network decides to go ahead and develop their idea into a new show. Such shows have potential to replicate virally at low cost to network, with huge pool of boundlessly creative ideas not yet considered. (For example, proposed shows may or may not feature snide British twit on celebrity judging panel.) Final winner may not have the best ideas overall, but be able to outlast rivals and reserve their better ideas for later rounds. Those who lead with their best ideas develop intense viewer loyalty, resulting in highly desirable "loser wins" controversy when they are outlasted by perceived mediocrities.
Idea may serve as a template to generate all-purpose content at low cost to networks with no need for actual "writers." Task of reality show participants may be to write late-night monologue jokes, SNL skits, sitcoms, or police/medical comedy/dramas -- whatever. Much attention can be paid to how well they collaborate on a creative team to deliver best final product, continuity from one show to the next, etc. As participants are eliminated and the burden of creating large volume of content falls on fewer participants, they are allowed to hire and manage their own staff of "writers," with much opportunity for return appearances by previously eliminated participants. Much opportunity for cross-pollination of interest between the show and the reality show that parented it. Or for something less involved, participants may simply be judged by their ability to produce an engaging series of YouTube videos. Whatever. Content is irrelevant.
Hype it as "Meta-Reality" and get trend-spotting tastemakers to tie it into popularity of user-generated content.