Tuesday, December 08, 2009

RABBI SCHLOMO RABINOWITZ: CRIME FIGHTER

People ask why don’t I branch out into hour television. I tell them I’m certainly open to the prospect but need just the right vehicle. And finally I’ve found it. Don’t steal this now. I’ll be pitching the major networks and NBC when I get home from Hawaii.

It’s a police drama inspired from an article I read recently in the New York Times. Apparently the police department in Helena, Montana, in an attempt to acquire a bomb sniffing dog discovered that instead of resorting to the huge cost of training one, they could just buy an Israeli bomb sniffing dog. They have a surplus over there (I mention it just in case you haven’t done your Christmas shopping). So a dog was shipped out to Helena, but they discovered one problem. It had been trained in Hebrew. It only answered to Hebrew commands. And even phonetically, Montana’s Finest had trouble getting across their wishes. Not many folks in Tel Aviv speak Hebrew with a drawl.

So they enlisted the help of one of the three rabbis in the town (who also happens to be Orthodox and dresses in traditional 18th Century clothing). He’s now their canine translator and has also been put on retainer.

And that’s my show, dear readers. RABBI SCHLOMO RABINOWITZ: CRIME FIGHTER. It’s like NUMB3RS but with a Hasidic Jew. Every week he’ll walk the mean streets of Helena with his trusty bomb sniffing dog, Farfel. Hopefully there won’t be any crimes on Friday night or Saturday because that’s the Sabbath. But all other times, he is an in-your-face, take-no-prisoners, bad-ass dude.

Gotta go. I need to prepare my pitch and check Alan Arkin’s availability.

RABBI SCHLOMO RABINOWITZ: CRIME FIGHTER – Fridays at 10 (no wait, it can’t be on Friday night) Thursdays at 10 on CBS.

31 comments:

Tom Quigley said...

I sense that the crime rate in Helena will skyrocket during the holydays too... "Look, Rabbi, I know it's Rosh Hashanah, but somebody's just robbed the bank, and we need the dog now!"..."Eh... So the guy was being practical... Like it's my fault?..."

Anonymous said...

Lanigan's Rabbi http://www.tv.com/lanigans-rabbi/show/2847/summary.html?tag=page_nav;main#nonesuch

Sunshine Vitamin said...

What, they can't use a bomb-sniffing dog in Hollywood?!

There's an agent joke here somewhere.

I love this post.

David J. Loehr said...

Not only would I watch that show, I think I'd actually like to write for that show. (This is perhaps why I'm in theatre...)

Anonymous said...

I don't know.. the protagonist is a bit too ethnic.

Debby G said...

A recurring character could be Schlomo's mother, who would complain that Schlomo spent more time with that meshugena dog than with her, but help out the pair by guilting criminals into surrendering.

And at the end of every episode, the bad guys would be sent to jail and the really bad guys sent to Hebrew school.

Max Clarke said...

Speaking of non-English commands, around 20 years ago or more, Clint Eastwood starred in the movie, Firefox. He's brought out of retirement as a pilot to sneak into the Soviet Union and steal their latest fighter jet.

Clint sneaks in, steals the plane, but its voice-activated controls are designed for Russian-speaking pilots. Confusion ensues.

Clint finally says a vital command in Russian at the last second -maybe it was "launch air-to-air missile", and he destroys the plane chasing him.

Anonymous said...

He is a part time ticket agent for "EL HELENA", the Montana airline subsidiary and only subsidiary in the U.S. of EL AL.

Anonymous said...

Casting: Steven Seagal. He's already got the lawman franchise started, just get him to convert and start working with a dog.
He's a Rabbi who also kicks (kosher) ASS and Plus you get the benefit of RinTinTin scenarios where he just has to sit and yell for the dog to run and get help. He'll like that.

Richard Jensen said...

Screw the networks! You need to pitch this to HBO!
Moreover, if you can get your guy to L.A., you could do a crossover with "Curb your Enthusiasm".

Jo said...

So many thoughts! Would the rabbi insist that the dog stay kosher? I am guessing there aren't a lot of kosher dog foods. Smart crooks would start planning their crimes for Sabbath. Add a ham loving partner who gets frustrated with every Hebrew phrase and you got something.

Ref said...

GONIN: What the Rabbi says at a hostage stand-off, ie "I'm gon' in!"

Alt: Non-kosher ronin.

Michael Tassone said...

"Run Gentile, Run"

If this is set in Helena, how about Ian McShane as a permanent bad guy? How about anyone from the cast of Deadwood as the permanent bad guy?

Regardless, sounds pretty appealing in a number of ways.

RUN THAT BABY!

brickben said...

You have to get Matisyahu for the theme song!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxxuSiC4wNw

Misty said...

http://www.kosherpets.com/fordogs.html

Raymond said...

Good call on the time slot. You're up against Leno.

Tom Quigley said...

Network note: "Could you make the dog a little less Jewish?"...

Abe said...

One show is not enough!

We need to come up with an entire prime time block!

We'll call it

"Must Oy! TV"

Chalmers said...

...and I already know what the first episode of the 13th season will be!

Tim W. said...

I like it. But instead of Jewish, could you make the main character black? And instead of a dog, could you make it a pot-bellied pig?

Make those changes and I'd greenlight it.

Steven said...

The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon.

Anonymous said...

Tim W:

Black is so, you know, 80s / Cosby Show. We're looking for something more modern. More real.

I'm thinking we make the lead undocumented Hispanic Jew.

And here's the real brain flash: I'm thinking it's Juan Epstein's grandson (remember Welcome Back Kotter). I'm thinking Gabe Kaplan cameo. I'm thinking even John Travolta cameo - and with John, we can get Tom Cruise as well.

Just means we have to give Paul Haggis a pseudonym when we get him to write the Hanukah episode...

Anonymous said...

Love it but the title needs work. I read that article too. TV needs more orthodox Jews. I think you need Mandy Patinkin in the supporting cast.

Daniel Drabkin said...

Ken,

As writer who has been blackballed from your Sitcom room seminars because of my religious beliefs (aint gonna work on Saturday); you need to hold an orthodox friendly seminar to develop a pilot.

Marv said...

Episode 13: Farfel And The Case Of The Missing Moyel. Featuring an ending you won't see coming.

Mary Stella said...

How about casting the Rabbi Shmuley. He's used to working with celebrities and has television experience from Shalom in the Home.

(Couldn't bring myself to go for a Michael Jackson joke.)

wv=restion = the act or process of resting.

sunshine vitamin said...

Ken, sweetie honey baby,

I've been thinking -- this is way too high-concept for TV. Let's go straight to the big screen with it. Picture this in bright lights on your local marquee:

"Schlomo and Hooch."

Lovin' it. Call me.

blogward said...

Damned funny. What's the dog called? Schnozzle?

Wojciehowicz said...

Oy, such a shanda...

Gridlock said...

Does the dog go for the throat when it sees a Keffiya though?

Tom Quigley said...

Gridlock said...

"Does the dog go for the throat when it sees a Keffiya though?"...

Don't know about that, but when it helps solve a crime, intead of doggie snacks, it's rewarded with cheese blintzes...