INT. BURNS OFFICE -- DAY
BURNS: Smithers, get in here!
SMITHERS (entering): Yes sir, Mr. Burns.
BURNS: Which network do I own again?
SMITHERS: That would be NBC, sir.
BURNS: Damn it! That’s what I was afraid of. Have you seen our 4th quarter earnings?
SMITHERS: Shocklingly low profit margin, yes.
BURNS: I won’t have it! What’s the point of being in business if you can’t gouge the public?
SMITHERS: Well, the entire nation is in a depression.
BURNS: And whose fault is that?
SMITHERS: Nor yours, sir. The New York Yankees.
BURNS: That’s right. It’s always someone else's fault. The New York Yankees! Good thinking, Smithers. $161 million for that C.C. Sabathia and he’s built like Homer Simpson.
SMITHERS: But on the bright side for us, the National Dog Show got big numbers. Of course that’s only once a year and during the afternoon…
BURNS: Smithers, we’re making big changes at NBC!
BURNS: I’ve decided to put Jay Leno on every night at 10.
SMITHERS: Monday through Friday?
BURNS: For now. Seven nights if they keep showing Baltimore Ravens games on Sunday Night Football. And do we really need seventeen people on the halftime show? Fire Keith Olbermann and any twelve.
SMITHERS: But sir, putting Leno on five nights a week. That’s like cutting our primetime by a third.
BURNS: I’ll save millions!!!
SMITHERS: Yes, but isn’t that like saying NBC is giving up?
BURNS: We already gave up! Don’t you remember FEAR FACTOR?
SMITHERS: But still. Why would people watch Jay Leno in primetime?
BURNS: I don’t know why they watch him now.
SMITHERS: Have you seen his demographics? In the coveted 18-34 category – which is all any of us give a shit about anymore -- twelve Amish kids in Pennsylvania.
BURNS: Have him bring Frank Sinatra on. That’ll get the kids. Those little bobbysoxers go crazy for that crooner.
SMITHERS: What if we just aired another LAW & ORDER? The whole parade-crowd-control side of police work has been virtually untouched.
BURNS: LAW & ORDER is expensive! All dramas are expensive. All of television is expensive. If Dr. Gene Scott weren't dead I’d put him and his big chair on 19 hours a day and just forget about it.
SMITHERS: You’d go to Christian programming?
BURNS: Better 19 hours of Christian programming than one hour of Christian Slater. Whose bright idea was that?
SMITHERS: Don’t worry, sir. The person responsible for that debacle fired three of his underlings and blamed them so it’s been taken care of.
BURNS: Good! Good! I love decisive action!
SMITHERS: So your decision is final?
BURNS: Yes it is. We save money, we cost actors and writers and directors jobs – that’ll teach those so-called “creative types” for wanting fair wages – and we stay in business just long enough to carry the Golden Globes.
SMITHERS: Your table is already reserved.
BURNS: Frances McDormand is nominated this year! She wants me, Smithers. I can tell.
SMITHERS: You do ooze charisma, sir. From every leaky pore.
BURNS: Maybe we could give her a show every night at 9. Yes! Yes! Who cares if I’m destroying broadcast television as we know it? I might get a little action!
MUSIC UP: NBC chimes.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
INT. BURNS OFFICE -- DAY