I’m a TV executive. You know, the guy who gets the bright ideas for those new shows you see each season on the major networks. Yet most ideas die before they reach your screen. Like Child Swap. The format was simple. Take children from two American families and exchange them for a whole month during summer.
The Berman’s and the Trout’s participated in the pilot show.
After a month I went to the studio to interview them and find out how things went.
‘We got a problem,’ said my assistant as we entered the studio. I could see the problem right away. No children. Just the four parents. The kids were contracted to appear at the interviews too.
I wandered over to the sofa. ‘What’s going on?’
‘Things went very badly,’ said Mr Berman. ‘Nothing was good enough for the kids. Don’t get me wrong, they were spoiled brats well before we entered Child Swap but we suffered in silence. During the swap, us parents got together. We agreed to take this child swapping thing a bit further. China in fact. They were pretty cool about the idea. I’m reliably informed our Chinese children won’t badger their parents for computers and cell phones every few months and don’t have to be paid to do homework or house chores. Our brats could use a stint in a Far East village.’
‘Good luck,’ I said as they left.
My assistant was dumbfounded by my relaxed attitude to this unsatisfactory conclusion.
‘Relax,’ I said. ‘Can’t you see the potential in this? We could swap celebrity couples, even world leaders and members of the aristocracy.’
‘Along with TV executives with bad programming ideas,’ said my assistant dryly. That was the moment Child Swap died and went to China.