BIXBY Plot Overview

Character Overview

Born into the [household cleaning product name] fortune/empire, Rick Bixby grew up wanting for naught other than attention. Twelfth of Twenty-three siblings, in a desperate attempt for attention, Bixby turned to the stage. In a high school production ofThe Importance of Being Ernest,he garnered local praise and rave reviews in the Rhode Island Globe for his pioneer role in the burgeoning field of scenic acting. This would be his first and second to last acclaim of talent/recognition of his innate talent. He was the founding Member of [High School Name]‘s Follies and was quickly ousted by, classmate, Rock Hudson when he played a better rock than his tree. Bixby always blamed it on typecasting. Due to his early disappointment, he became a despondent alcoholic who leeched off of his family’s fortune with the ambitions limited to the society pages of the local paper.

Given an honorary job in the family business as a product tester, which provided him with an opportunity later in life, after obscurity, he found his big break in a role on a television commercial. Initially, on set as the family’s product expert, Bixby was quick to jump at the chance that was afforded him when the original spokesperson had to drop out. Calling on his theatrical experience, he gave a performance that would forever alter the landscape of American Television.

Keep in mind that previous was the character’s background.

Here are his personality/character traits that should shape your Bixby segments:

-believes he is infallible and fights tooth and nail blaming everyone else for his failure

-has an innate intuition to garner negative attention, effectively creating a personality that is reviled by everyone who meets him

-(yet still a precursor to a timeline of ideas that became influential to the early television history concepts)

-privileged (ie: expects things to come with him with little to no effort)

-no concept of offensive behavior (racist, sexist) and is socially inept

-inability to admit failure

Story Arch Rough Timeline (inclusive of writers ideas from today’s workshop):

-MAIN FIRST COMMERCIAL, burns self – gets catchphrase

-gets VARIETY SHOW and simultaneously stretches himself too thin by writing Van Dyke-type pilot, hosts a radio show, etc, all in one week (and all under one producer, David Sarnoff type character)

-[always on 2 stations @ once, LIVE]

-[reaction to his catchphrase: older women gasping in distaste and teenage girls screaming with theirBIXBYMANIA]

-Edward Murrow/Person to Person Interview

-Public attention wanes due to lack of charisma and effectively none of the productions take off

-thinks he has mastered comedy and goes intoSCIFI

-[Twilight Zone-type: does episode one with no subtext effectively and is not aired]

-[Star Trek-type show: red shirt]

-moves to soap operas

-[immediately is coma-d and can't even act that correctly (like moving eyebrows/etc) so they immediately kill him off the show]

-tries his hand at directing

-[Ed Wood-type movie]

-gets blacklisted cos no one wants him to work/make movies [NOTE: DISCREPANCY IN HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER NEED BE ADDRESSED]

-LaughIn-type show and breaks down and is banned by the FCC

-Bixby attempts to commit suicide and fails. doctor interview states “Pulled a Bixby”

-transitions to VIDEO ART in which anti-establishment video artists are intrigued with his current character

-[flinging soup on the wall/canvas Pollack-style, in which maybe Pollack sees this and Bixby goes "oh, you can have it"]

-resurgence with Japanese commercials and syndication (they only quote his catchphrase)

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