PODCAST

177 million Americans watch podcasts.

This is the only show about making one.

The first minority female to run a prestigious podcast studio hires an all-female staff then launches a sketchy marketing campaign to reach number one on Spotify, but when a jealous podcaster at a competing channel reports her violations, she risks losing everything as they battle each other for market dominance.

Podcast is a series with an all-female cast that is diversity-driven and designed to uplift marginalized women.

Imagine a female Joe Rogan with the supporting cast of 30 Rock.

Super Loco “Amanda” Rodriguez is a single, mixed-race journalist, and US Army veteran. Amanda longs for personal and professional success. The happiest moments of her life were when she worked in the Armed Forces Radio Network in the military. She misses the feeling of a workplace family.

So, Amanda jumps at the opportunity to take over programming at WJR 760 Talk Radio and Podcast Studios in her hometown of Detroit. 

The owner wants Amanda to change the station’s format to a more robust conservative following. But this triggers a showdown with Amanda and her co-workers’ liberal goals to be “evolutionaries in conscious media.”

Now add a sexist villain who runs the rival podcast channel in the same building. This guy is #1 in the market. He sees Amanda as a threat to his business. So, he makes her an offer.

Amanda must limit her own success to keep her channel at #2, or he will report them to Spotify for violations that will shut them down. Now if Amanda loses her job, she’ll end up back on the streets where she came from. If she makes the deal, everyone keeps working, but she’ll be a sellout to a creep.

Amanda sticks to her principles.

The studio gets shut down. Amanda is out of work. Her dreams are crushed. This is when her emotional journey becomes ours. Now we care about Amanda because, she stood up for what was right. We root for her because, her beliefs will elevate everyone around her.

Amanda goes rogue with a pirate podcast to expose the corruption. Her staff supports her, and they form a family-like bond she always wanted. Amanda recruits the owner to give her another shot. Turns out the female owner wants revenge on this guy, too.

Amanda rallies her co-workers (including the owner) and they all chip in to pay the Spotify fines. In return, her fellow employees each receive fractional ownership in the podcast studio.

The channel reopens. Amanda and her staff keep their jobs. She has healed her inner wound by creating a makeshift family. And she’s achieved her external goal of running the studio.

But this is where her character arc gets a fascinating twist.

Amanda feels grateful to the owner who saved them all. This gratitude is the catalyst for a new phase of her life. The owner, who previously seemed evil to her, is now someone she admires.

Amanda feels like she is maturing and becoming a better manager under her tutelage. But Amanda’s shifting “centrist” attitude looks like a betrayal to her liberal staff.

Now Amanda is stuck in the middle between her co-workers on the left and the conservative owner on her right. This places her perpetually on the horns of a juicy dilemma.

Her workplace is a constant tug-of-war of values and social rules she must navigate. This culture clash is the engine that creates the unique and ongoing comedy for the series.

And at the end of the first season the reward for the viewer will be more than just laughs. It will reveal how treating all people fairly is the best way to live a happy life.

The sharp ensemble cast is buoyed by fast-paced dialogue combined with physical humor and visual gags. Quick-witted and farcical, each story line involves satirical takes on historical events, news stories, and pop culture references.

And each character gets the A+ three-dimensional treatment like Amanda with B and C stories the audience can connect to as well.

Cast

AMANDA. Feisty. No-nonsense individual. Treats everything like a mission. She’s cool under pressure. Amanda is also an ebullient troublemaker with a smile that reminds you the best things in life are free.

KAREN FROM FINANCE. Transgender (male to female). Peacemaker. But not the superhero. Largest wig collection ever. Former WJR DJ. Current security guard. She knows everyone and everything about the station and staff. She’s a part-time life coach and a guiding light for all humanity.

HAMILTON. Usually dressed like 18th Century royalty from Hamilton the Musical. Single issue voter pro-gay. Irrational fear of bugs. She’s “The Good Example.” The one who sets the bar. But deep down inside, she gloats over you when you fail. She works part-time in a comedy club as a server.

ST. PAULIE. “The Tattler.” She rats you out and thinks it’s for your own good. She frequently impersonates her parents, Horace and Gloria, to anyone who will listen. Works part-time as a medical courier for transplant organs.

TESS. Goth nihilist. Bully. Always ready for a showdown. But once your friends, she’s got your back. Perpetually looks like she’s had a rough week. She’s also the smartest person in any room. Works part-time in a sex shop.

MRS. BUELLER. Owner. Misguided Matriarch of Misfit Manor. Tact of a hammer-wielding ogre. And she always has some part of her body covered in medical bandages recovering from a cosmetic procedure.

PILOT EPISODE: Amanda joins WJR as their new program director, befriends the staff, and sets a course for the station to become a broadcast powerhouse. But the real sweet spot for the pilot will be the tone – Amanda’s heartwarming journey to forge a family based on diversity. This theme / guiding principle will be the cornerstone of everything to come.

EPISODE 2: Amanda gets the rating for the station up to #3 in the market. She has a love interest across the hall. This makes St. Paulie jealous because, St. Paulie likes her romantically. Tess and Karen squad up for their own show that is more popular than St. Paulie and Hamilton’s show. Mrs. Bueller is thinking about running for Mayor of Detroit. And Karen From Finance puts together a one woman show. There’s also a family clubhouse / hideaway under construction in one of the empty studios.

EPISODE 3: Amanda gets the ratings up even higher. Her love interest across the hall hits on Hamilton thus ending their relationship. This makes St. Paulie happy. Tess and Karen’s show is so popular that Amanda breaks them up to create 2 new teams. Tess joins St. Paulie. Karen teams up with Hamilton. The station hits #1 in their market. Mrs. Bueller announces she’s running for Mayor of Detroit. Karen from Finance is almost ready to perform her one-woman show in the Fisher Theater (inside the same building). The family clubhouse is finished for all to enjoy. Amanda’s journey to strengthen her bond with co-workers and guarantee workplace diversity grows stronger.

EPISODE 4: Amanda becomes the campaign manager for Mrs. Bueller. Tess gets courted by another station to leave WJR. Hamilton and St. Paulie refuse to work together over creative differences. Karen performs her one-woman show. The clubhouse comes under public scrutiny for its cult-like vibe and hurts Mrs. Bueller’s campaign. Amanda’s journey to creating a family continues its upward trajectory.

EPISODE 5: Amanda dates the Deputy Mayor candidate that Mrs. Bueller also likes creating a love triangle. Tess decides to stay at WJR and gets a promotion. She trains under Amanda so she can run a sister station. Hamilton and St. Paulie plan a trip to New York to see a Broadway play. The clubhouse makes news for its hippie counter-cultural workplace perk that continues to hurt Mrs. Bueller’s mayoral campaign. 

EPISODE 6: Amanda and the staff get snowed in on election night and report the news. Hamilton and St. Paulie get their trip cancelled. Tess can’t make it to the sister station she’s supposed to run. The Deputy Mayor dumps Amanda. Mrs. Bueller loses the election. Amanda gets blamed for the loss because, of the hippie clubhouse stigma. Amanda loses all the trust and love of her staff when she tries to force Mrs. Bueller into their de facto family. So, it’s back to square one for Amanda and her emotional journey.

EPISODE 7: Amanda and her staff are up for a NAB award (National Association of Broadcasters) for their groundbreaking marathon election night coverage. Tess stays with the group because, the sister station she was going to run is easy listening music. Karen is shooting a music video based on her play. Hamilton is going to become a stand-up comic. St. Paulie gets a promotion at the hospital where she’s delivering organs. Mrs. Bueller lost the election but found out her opponent cheated. Now she wants revenge. Amanda rebuilds her trust with everyone but Tess. Tess is even further away than at the very beginning.

EPISODE 8: Amanda is offered a new job working for the new mayor of Detroit. This mayor is the sworn enemy of Mrs. Bueller. Karen has a hit song. Hamilton has a comedy gig booked. St. Paulie wants to work part-time at the station because, her organ delivery job is going great. And the NAB award is still in play, so they campaign to get it. Mrs. Bueller keeps Amanda from leaving the station by giving her part ownership. Tess goes undercover to dig up dirt on the current mayor. Amanda does a team building exercise and wins the approval of Tess.

EPISODE 9: WJR and Amanda win “Broadcaster of the Year.” Hamilton bombs as a stand-up because, all her jokes are about hating bugs. So, St. Paulie teams up with her to do comedy. Tess is still digging up dirt on the current mayor so they can get her impeached and put Mrs. Bueller into office. Karen has throat problems from singing and has to postpone her upcoming concert. Amanda does another team building exercise and wins the approval of everyone.

EPISODE 10: WJR studios gets broken into. Twice. It looks like an inside job. Security cameras need to be updated. Amanda and her staff use this as an opportunity to perform live for the cameras from WJR. Hamilton and St. Paulie do stand up. Karen sings. Tess teaches a broadcasting class. Mrs. Bueller holds golf clinics. Amanda launches a dating site. The station is becoming a popular podcasting site on YouTube.

EPISODE 11: Amanda discovers who broke into WJR. It’s the current mayor. She was stealing Mrs. Bueller’s stuff because, Mrs. Bueller did not pay off on a golf bet. So, a deal is made. Mrs. Bueller will be appointed the Deputy Mayor. Then, the mayor will resign, leaving Mrs. Bueller the new mayor. Everyone is launching their own podcast / YouTube channels from work. Amanda’s YouTube show gets censored for sensitive content thus eroding confidence in her.

EPISODE 12: Mrs. Bueller becomes mayor. She releases the video of the former mayor stealing things anyway thus stabbing her in the back. Amanda has a new love interest. It’s Mrs. Bueller’s lawyer. But it turns out, he’s still married. Everyone is getting sponsors for their YouTube content. The social tide has turned. Running a conservative station is making Amanda an outcast.

EPISODE 13: Season finale. Christmas. Amanda’s apartment catches fire. She moves into WJR to live. Mrs. Bueller is away on her yacht. Tess leaves for a vacation. Hamilton and St. Paulie are on their way to New York for a Broadway show. Karen is with her new boyfriend. Amanda spent a year building a family and nobody is there.

The rise of Rock Punchgroin.

Amanda is bitter. She’s achieved her professional dream. But her personal goal of family is shattered. The WJR staff returns from holiday break with the exact opposite feelings. They want to include Amanda in everything. But it’s too late.

Amanda lives like a hermit inside the WJR clubhouse.

Now the #2 station in the market is in the same building. And they just got a new program director —

Rock Punchgroin.

He’s a male swimsuit model turned broadcast genius. His goal is to make his station #1. He’s like Amanda was when she started a year ago.

Now Rock does his rom-com best to make nice with Amanda.

No deal.

Amanda’s station is #1 and she’s going to keep it that way.

But she is tired of living there.

Rock owns several houses that he rents out. One of them is empty. Amanda can live there. Super cheap. Amada thinks she’s being wooed – and she is – but she’s even more tired of living inside the station.

Amanda moves into her own house. She’s feeling better about life and work.

But there’s a crisis at the station. A new software package was installed but it’s not working properly. And they can’t just uninstall it. This new version is the only software that’s compliant with all legal broadcast standards. Their streaming grows weaker and weaker.

No one knows how to fix it except –

Rock Punchgroin.

He just installed the same software at his job. But this is his chance to make his station #1. While WJR is faltering he can seize the opportunity for his success.

But Rock secretly fixes the software problem for Amanda.

Then the worst thing happens.

Amanda falls in love with Rock.

Thank goodness he works at the other station. She wouldn’t want to work with her boyfriend.

But Rock’s station learns that he fixed WJR. They fire him. Now Rock needs a job. And Amanda runs the biggest station in the market?

She hires him.

And there’s going to be nothing but problems.

It’s still about family?

Mrs. Bueller appoints Rock as the new program director of WJR. Amanda answers to him now. Ouch. All her hard work has been betrayed.

But Mrs. Bueller disagrees. Rock saved WJR when Amanda didn’t know how. So, he’s the boss. And if Amanda doesn’t like it, she can quit.

Amanda quits WJR.

She goes to the competing station that Rock was running and starts her career all over again as their new program director.

After countless battles between the two stations for market supremacy, Amanda finally comes out on top.

But she realizes the feeling of “family” that she seeks is not going to be found through work. It’s going to be found via her relationships with Rock.

Amand and Rock quit their jobs. He sells his houses. They’re going to start a new life together in Los Angeles, working in radio.

They get married.

Amanda and Rock fly off into the sunset.

They arrive in beautiful LA.

And are promptly mugged.

Right now, is the perfect time for a story that brings people together with unforgettable characters we love in the most meaningful comedy of a generation.

This script received a double recommend in coverage from Stage 32 and was awarded the Top 1% of all screenplays.

emaildavidsanto@gmail.com

David Santo seen in… – Screenwriter (screenwriterdave.com)

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