Target Audience- The target audience for the American adaptation of Summer Heights High is going to to be male and females aged 20-34 that make up 20.9% of the total U.S. population, the penetration size will be the Americans aged 25-29 that have a college bachelors degree and are mature enough for certain types of references and jokes. The target market was selected because instead of the Australian Summer Heights High setting being in a high school the American version will be in a college setting. A college setting was chosen because not since 2000- Boy Meets World has an ABC show had a younger (under 18) target audience. The majority of ABC shows are or have been geared towards families with young and/or teenage children in middle income two parent households i.e. George Lopez, According to Jim, My Wife and Kids. ABC Network has yet to have a show relatable to college students, and recent college graduates.
The humor of Australian Summer Heights High is offensive, crude, obscene and vulgar all of which is okay for a paid for network station such as HBO but for a primetime ABC Network show the humor has be dialed back. The target audience is mature enough for pop, political and social references and jokes and old enough not to take something offensively but as mere comedy unlike a typical American family where the children and parents who are watching the show might have to make the children leave the room or parents have to tell the children not to repeat something seen on the show that was meant as comedic but can be taken off screen and used in an inappropriate, offensive fashion.
Time Slot- The time slot chosen for the American adaptation of Summer Heights High will be Mondays at 9:00pm EST. The time slot was chosen because it is the time slot that gained the popular TV show Two and a Half Men an average of 15 million viewers. It is also the time right after How I Met Your Mother on CBS. The show will run March-July so that it does not interfere with Monday Night Football. The show will air after Dancing with the Stars on ABC. The time slot is ideal for the target audience because Mondays are usually a down day for both college students and those just getting into the workforce so the show can be something to look forward to, also because Mondays are usually not a typical going out night for college students or regular workers and the workload for both is usually light and then increases as the week goes on. Therefore, the show will not interfere with schoolwork, after work happy hours, or other various workloads. 9:00pm EST is not a late time, which makes it easy to watch right before the news and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Competing Shows- With various networks, television shows and time slots, viewers have many options, which means the American adaptation of Summer Heights High would have many competitors. Listed competitors include basic cable networks, assuming that not everyone in our target audience has cable, shows at the same time slot and similar shows at different time slots.
CBS: On Monday nights on CBS at 9:00pm the competitors would be Two Broke Girls and Mike & Molly. Both shows are comedies and pose a threat to with similar target audiences. On Monday nights at 8:00pm, right before Summer Height High, on CBS How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement come on. Stated earlier that the time slot was chosen so that we would not compete with How I met Your Mother because it is one of the most popular shows among the target audience. Summer Heights High would be what people look forward to after they get a few laughs in with How I Met Your Mother.
NBC: On Monday nights at 9:00pm on NBC the popular singing competition The Voice is on. Since The Voice is not a comedy and does not resonate highly with the same target audience it is not seen as a direct threat. However, a new show on NBC will be coming on right after The Voice called Revolution. The show may attract some of the same target audience but since it is not a comedy, those that are looking for something much more comedic will turn to ABC.
FOX: On Monday nights at 9:00pm on FOX an hour-long show called The Following comes on, it is not a comedy but it does appeal to some of the same target audience. The show that comes on right before The Following is Bones, which is another crime show. Research shows that our target audience finds interest in the crime shows, therefore although Bones does not come on at the same time, it is possible that the target audience will decide to watch one show over the other.
the CW: On Monday nights at 9:00pm on the CW the popular show 90210 comes on. The show is popular among high school and early college students but also appeals to the target audience which makes the CW’s 90210 a direct competitor. Even though 90210 is not a comedy is has been around for, going on, six seasons and has viewer loyalty.
Show Overview- The American adaptation of Summer Heights High, to match the target audience and to have independent brand awareness from the Australian version will be renamed to Summer Heights U, “U” standing for university. It was decided to stick with the one actor playing three different roles. That decision was decided upon because it is unlike any other television character, aside from SNL. The comedy will not be raunchy or obscene. The script will not include curse words but may include racial slurs, in a non-derogatory way, and language that may be deemed as offensive. The jokes that the show will not have will be jokes about the mentally or physically disabled or of sexual preference. The jokes that will be included will be jokes on race, physical ability such as strength or weakness, male physique, social class, and more.
The script will be risqué but in accordance with the Federal Communication Committee’s guidelines. Aside from the main character, which is white, other characters will be of various other races including Latino because of the 12.5% American population of Latinos and Black because of the 12.3% American population of Blacks. Instead of a division of private and public school there will be a division of larger state school and smaller schools. Summer Heights U is going to be set in the outskirts of Los Angeles. USC is also located in Los Angeles and therefore in episodes the Summer Heights U will try to have the same caliber football team, large school feeling but will never be able to be like USC because the Summer Heights U football team is terrible. Los Angeles was chosen because of it populations’ size and number of colleges in California and the abundance of the target market and the total population of California makes up 2.9% of the United States total.
Characters- The main three characters will be played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Jonathan Taylor Thomas was chosen because he was a child actor on the television show Home Improvement from 1991-1998 a time period where the target audience was younger and growing up. Therefore, he resonates with the current target audience because they grew up watching him. He was also chosen because he has soft features to be able to play a female role and has a comedic background.
Summer Heights High: In Summer Heights High Jonah is the definition of a bully and problem child. He comes from a single family home and is the ultimate rebel. He is in remedial reading because he has the reading level of an eight year old. He likes to lie, graffiti bathrooms, and “punk” other students. He has ADD and is disruptive in class and does not pay attention. Summer Heights U: In Summer Heights U Jonah is a typical dumb jock in college. He is really cocky because he is the second string quarterback and thinks he should be starting quarterback. he does not make good grades and is a general studies major because he does not know what he wants to do with his life besides play football. Summer Heights U will keep Jonah’s dry humor the same as in Summer Heights High, he makes fun of other team members for not being as athletic as he believes he is. He is also a womanizer and thinks that he can any girl that he wants and attends parties where he always gets rejected. Jonah relates to the target audience because he is that guy that everyone in college loves to hate. He is annoying and always commands attention but everyone finds him entertaining.
Summer Heights High: In Summer Heights High Ja’mie is a bitchy private school exchange student who loves to gossip and is self-absorbed. She finds public school people to be dumb and only cares about being popular. She is obsessed with being “hot” and dates a younger student because she thinks it would be cool. Summer Heights U: In Summer Heights U Ja’mie’s name will be changes to Jamie, a more American name and she is a college student from the upper east side of New York. She thinks that she is better than everyone than everyone else and only can to summer Height U because she could not get into USC and wanted to get away from her parents. She only wears designer clothes, is obsessed with being skinny and popular. Instead of dating a younger guy, Jamie dates an older man and the shows how the relationship falls apart. Jamie is self-absorbed and conceited and makes fun of people from the West coast because she believes the West coast is better than the West. Jamie relates to the target audience because she resonates with women in the way that women in the age group all usually have that one friend that they hate but hang out with any way because they like to be better than her.
Mr. G (Coach G)
Summer Heights High: In Summer Heights High Mr. G is a flamboyant drama class teacher. He is excessive and OCD. When he gets a promotion he abuses his title and is insensitive when a student dies. He comes off as selfish and full of himself and cares only about drama and theatre. Summer Heights U: In Summer Heights U instead of Mr. G being a drama teacher he is going to be the Summer Height U football team coach. He thinks that his team is the best in the state even though they are a NAIA conference football team. He breathes and sleeps football and is always pushing to build a larger stadium. Like Mr. G he is insensitive and always pushes the team to be in the best shape and always has them on strict diets. Coach G relates to the target audience because the target audience is also big football watchers and can understand the antics of a coach.
Doug Peterson (Student Welfare)
Summer Heights High: In Summer Heights High Mr Peterson tries to help Jonah and makes him sign a contract to be have better and acts as a mediator between Jonah and the kids he bullies. Summer Heights U: In Summer Heights U Mr Peterson is the school counselor and helps Jonah while he is on academic probation. He tries to help Jonah get his grades up and gets him to try not to be a womanizer and get a girlfriend. He also is an older black man and will be played by Kevin Hart and makes fun of Jonah while he helps him. Kevin Hart is a popular black comedian with which the target audience is familiar.
Margaret Murray (Principal)
Summer Heights High: In Summer Heights High Principal Murray is a quiet yet stern principal and is excited when Ja’ mie starts at Summer Heights High. She is very stern with Mr G and is reluctant in letting him build a new theatre center. Summer Heights U: In Summer Heights U Principal Murray is Dean Murray and is a middle aged asian woman played by Lucy Lu. Lucy Lu was chosen because she is known for being dry in her humor and being unintentionally funny she has also been in recent shows and past movies that appeal to the target audience. Dean Murray is stern with Coach G when it comes to building the stadium because she believes more in academics and making the school cleaner. She gets excited about Jamie enrolling because she secretly wants quit and move to New York.
Sarah Wheatley (English Teacher)
Summer Heights High: In Summer Heights High Miss Wheatley is Jonah’s English teacher. She gets disrespected by him and made fun of by him. Jonah always “punks” her and tells her “puck you, miss”. Jonah gives her a great deal of stress throughout the series. Summer Heights U: In Summer Heights U Miss Wheatley is Professor Wheatley and is Jonahs English 200 professor. Tina Fey will play Prof Wheatley and instead of Jonah making fun of her and giving her a hard time she gives Jonah a hard time because he is filing her class. Tina Fey and the story line was chosen because Tina Fey is a former SNL cast member and is very funny and relatable to the target audience.
Summary: In the pilot episode all of the main characters will be introduced and the storyline will follow them on the first day of fall semester sophomore year. In the scene it is Jamie’s first day at the school and she is trying to fit in with various sorority girls. Jonah is back practicing on the football field; he and Coach G are never in the same scene together. Coach G just yells at him from the sidelines usually. In the pilot episode Coach G is introduced trying to bench press a heavy weight in front of his players but fails miserably. Mr Peterson is seen trying to help Jonah figure out why he can’t get a girlfriend and Prof Wheatley is making fun of Jonah for misspelling his name. The american adaptation is more like a sitcom rather than a mockumentary.
The pilot episode opens in the university gym that is decked out in school colors of green and yellow. In the scene we see Coach G laying on a bench trying to bench press 215 pounds, claiming that it is “easy”. With the team around him he fails and says that he only couldn’t do it because he had not has his protein shake yet and exclaims that the team has to do sprints and push ups after weigh in and that if anyone has lost weight that they have to do weighted pull ups as well as drink 5 protein shakes a day.
The next scene is then moved to the focus on Jonah earlier in the day where he is in class with Prof Wheatley. Prof Wheatley is handing back the first paper of the semester and is unimpressed. She give the students a lecture on how they are not freshman anymore and need to spend less time getting drunk and high and more time working on their papers. When Jonah gets his back, to no surprise gets a 10%. Prof Wheatley then publicly announces that Jonah did not even spell his name right on his paper because he must have been too busy playing with his balls, making a reference to him being a football player.
Jamie is now introduced and is seen in the quad texting while she is surrounded by a group of sorority girls, all of whom she thinks she is better than and would not be caught dead in Greek letters because they would not match her Birkin bag. She is talking to them about her older boyfriend and how much she misses New York because the sun in California will ruin her perfect skin. All the girls make plans to go out to a bar that night and Jamie says she will only go if they have sell vintage red burgundy wine. The final scene shows Dean Murray in her office talking to Coach G about the upcoming football season. She tells him that if they don’t have at least 5 wins this season shes going to cut the football program funding. Coach tries to convince her that they are stronger and and a better team than ever and that all the guys can bench press 215 pounds. She tells him that all team members also need to be passing all of their classes and this puts Coach G in a bind because he knows that half of the team might fail out.
The show ends at that and episode two will show how Coach G plays on getting the team stronger and passing, shows Jamie out at the bar and what happens when she runs into her older businessman boyfriend and if Jonah will ask out his crush.
Courtney from Study Moose