Direct Line Blog

Agency execs, here's your chance to be a TV star

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Ever wonder what would have happened if you'd gotten your master of fine arts at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts instead of your MBA in marketing from Columbia? Do you sometimes yearn for the bright lights of Broadway as opposed to the bright future of customer data collection on Facebook?

Well, if you've already dropped the curtain on your Hollywood dreams, cable network AMC may have lifted it for you just a bit.

AMC has greenlighted a reality series called The Pitch, which follows top creative ad agencies as they pitch new business accounts, according to Deadline.com.

I haven't spoken to executives at AMC (they didn't return my calls), but I wouldn't be going out on a limb in assuming Mad Men's astronomical success played a hand in AMC's decision to focus again on the ad industry.

AMC's SVP Joel Stillerman told Deadline.com that Mad Men was not considered when green-lighting The Pitch but rather that advertising “is an incredibly rich topic, and The Pitch zeroes in on the most dramatic part of the process when the best creative people have to convince major brands to give them their business.”

True. But if Mad Men had been a flop, there's no way this show gets picked up.

I do wonder, however, if Mad Men's success will ultimately hurt the pitch.

For example: Will audiences tune in to The Pitch seeking the boozing, flirting and severed feet associated with your typical Mad Men episode? (OK, the severed foot isn't typical but it did happen!) And, if so, will audiences ultimately be let down when The Pitch's conversations are centered around demographics and focus groups and not on the creative director's latest fling?

The Pitch is scheduled to debut next year, which leaves plenty of time for you to turn your agencies into the cigar-smoke-filled, single-malt-carpet-stained, adulterous cradles of creativity they once were.

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