Local students pitch show ideas to High Point native who created ‘Bless the Harts’

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Kids from High Point who graduate from UNC-Greensboro don’t get to make it in Hollywood … do they?

They do if they do the work and believe in themselves -- at least that’s the message from a woman who has done it.

Emily Spivey grew up in High Point and graduated from Andrews High School. She then went on to UNCG and, as she walks into Carmichael Hall, her husband, Scott, points to a room that she passes and reminds here, “That’s the classroom where we met.” Emily gives a smile as she goes into the auditorium.

Waiting there are about a dozen students in Frank Donaldson’s class. Donaldson was Emily’s favorite professor when she was at UNCG.

She listens as teams of three or four students pitch ideas for television series – much like she did, when she created the new Fox show "Bless the Harts," which is part of Fox’s “Animation Domination” on Sunday nights. "Bless the Harts" comes on right after The Simpsons.

One of the first groups pitches a show called Fake News about someone who gets into the TV news business by illicit means.

“I love the name Fake News,” Emily tells them, “but when you think fake news, you think politics.”

They might want to come up with a different name. She also suggests a major change that could really help the show with its flexibility.

“It seems like you may could pivot your pitch to make it a YouTuber or something that has a viral video and she gets hired to be like a culture correspondent,” said Emily, off the top of her head. “Then you could have a Mary Tyler Moore quality.”

It’s quick, yet very insightful advice like that which has the students hanging on Emily’s every suggestion.

“This is really feeling like a sexy, down-and-dirty sort of Friends kind of show that might be fun on Netflix, you know?” She tells another group.

Her overall message, though, is to believe that whatever their story is, it’s one worth telling.

“I don't think anybody has a boring story. I think point-of-view is taking your story and putting it into a filter that it's interesting to others but I don't think anybody has a boring story,” Emily said.

See the students pitch their show ideas in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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