Gentlemen of the FX Network programming department, I'll present to you a single statement of intent, and you can tell me how intrigued you find yourselves after:
/stands /makes big hand motions
"Barry Switzer swears revenge."
Exactly, sirs. There's no greater potential for the 2012 basic cable original programming slate than optioning the ripped-from-the-headlines criminal woes of former Georgia head football coach Jim Donnan. Sure, football has limited appeal on the critical foreign licensing market, but you know what doesn't? Scenery-chewing performances from former film icons vamping as morally conflicted protagonists.
"Friday Night Lights?" I don't know you about guys, but I like ratings, and I like my football drama peppered with pulpy violence the way Mason-Dixon God intended it. Put "Against The Grain" in "Deadwood." Mob bosses, crooked cops, school teachers dealing drugs, biker gangs, womanizing family men - if you're trying to tentpole a five season run around critical acclaim and DVD sales, well gentlemen, I think we all know that wrongdoing is RIGHTdoing, amirite?? I'm right. Smartwater? Anyone?
Look across town: Kevin Costner is about to go full Travolta, and frankly I can't think of a better landing spot after a career resurgence than the reliability of episodic television and a role that's Tony Soprano at a meat-and-three. It's "Coach Breaking Bad!" Get it? And there's plenty of kistch in this story. See this guy here? / holds up picture of Tommy Tuberville We've got Clint Howard attached. He's The TV-14 Steve Buscemi, guys.
Now, we'll admit this project needs a little polishing. We're going to need potential female leads, and despite the fact most ex college football coaches are unreasonably committed to their age-appropriate wives, we assume a gangster coach could romp around with the Lady GaGa set. We've got Brittany Snow reading this week opposite Deborah Winger as the ex-wife, but we'll need to push her to go more haggard - that's Emmy country! Potential hurdles will also include somewhow avoiding those horrific looking CGI stadium shots on a basic cable budget, but the plan of now is to shoot in Canada - the CFL's like, the same thing. We'll be fine, and our editors have found that inserting partial nudity near a budget inflicted continuity error keeps the Internet at bay.
Now, as far as a long term story arc... we're pretty sure we can wrap up the fallout of a simple Ponzi scheme over 12 episodes, but then what? We'll need a foil, a diabolical, ruthless sociopath in the ex-coaching criminal underworld our protagonist can play against. We've got a meeting scheduled with Ian McShane. Gentlemen, are you familiar with the name Jackie Sherrill?