Friday, May 15, 2020

Rod Serling's "The Good Fast Boys"

While scanning a ton of archival material these past months, in an effort to digitize all of the research files I accumulated over two decades, ultimately making better use of the filing cabinets that are going to be empty when the project is done, I came across a bunch of Rod Serling material that might be of interest to those who love the work of the prolific playwright. Serling's agent, Blanche Gaines, always reminded him to throw away four out of every five proposals he created, to ensure higher quality. What is reprinted below is a scan of a four-page plot proposal for the television series, STUDIO ONE. 

How this generally worked was that script writers would create a story proposal in a few pages, submitted to either the producers or the story editors. Then, if the story meets with approval from authorized parties, a first draft of a teleplay would be created. No professional writer would create a teleplay and submit it right off the bat -- which is one reason why amateurs that did so would find their teleplays returned, unopened, and rejected. Thanks to historian Nick Parisi, a letter from someone at CBS verified not only was this boxing story proposed (and ultimately rejected) for STUDIO ONE, but at the time Serling was also proposing "Patterns" for the same program. Intriguing when you consider that "Patterns" would ultimately be dramatized on KRAFT TELEVISION THEATRE, and would win Serling his first Emmy. Seems like the producers of STUDIO ONE should have accepted "Patterns" instead of rejecting it... 

Since "The Good Fast Boys" was never made into a teleplay or dramatized on television, Serling's proposal is featured below for your enjoyment.