At the same time that we were producing FREAKY STORIES, the studio was producing a huge budget puppet/CG show, BRATS OF THE LOST NEBULA. How huge was it? It was a co-production between The Hensons and Warner Bros.
It was huge.
To give you an idea of the scale, our FREAKY STORIES puppets cost between $5,000 and $15,000 each to create. The BRATS puppets cost $65,000 each - created by The Henson Creature Shop - and they were gorgeous. It was an amazing set, huge, lavish. They had monsters. They had spaceships...
We had a cockroach, a maggot and a giant toaster. There was no comparison.
There were tons of BRATS scripts lying around the production office, so naturally - I checked them out. That's when I saw a problem. Here it is, in the finished clip:
"Uh... Houston? I think we have a problem..."
The kids' parents get killed in the first act of the first episode.
That's not good. That's a downer. Anyone who has kids - or works with kids - knows that one of their primal fears is being abandoned. Yeah, yeah, yeah - they do it in every Disney flick - but this is TV. As soon as the action stops, the kids at home will realize that the characters onscreen are orphans and...
So I pointed out the problem to the BRATS production staff. I suggested that they have the parents taken prisoners - so the kids are fighting for something positive.... to be reunited with their families....
But no. They shot it as is. They made 13 episodes. Warner Bros. pulled the series from The WB after only 3 episodes had aired. The audience didn't like the show.
The point is - WE as show creators are not our audience. We have to be careful not to alienate the very people that we want watching our shows.