Original pilot proposal for a never-produced animated series based on the Sweet Valley High novels.
Very good plus.
SWEET VALLEY HIGH [Original Unproduced Animated Series Presentation]
"Jessica, in her relentless pursuit of admirers, is taken in by Rick Andover, the handsome dropout, who sweeps her off her feet in his jacked-up Camaro."
Extremely convincing, unaccountably unsuccessful television pilot proposal for a breakthrough animated adaptation of Francine Pascal's iconic Sweet Valley novels (with no connection to the eventual live-action series of several years later). Why animated? Why, because animation is a "non-threatening" medium, ideal for dealing with such subject matter as "death, sex, relationships, drugs, identity crisis, etc." Perhaps "etc." most of all.
Stewart's pitch encompasses all aspects of SVH: The (Proposed) Animated Series, from format to merchandising: Each episode was to be hosted by two live teens (relatable!), with a dissolve from a live-acted open into animation "a la the Bubble Yum commercials" (cutting edge!), and ending with a cliff-hanger (suspenseful!). For the boy half of a teen celebrity host-couple, Stewart suggests John Stamos, Ralph Macchio, Michael J. Fox, or Rick(y) Schroder; for the girl, Mindy Cohen, Nancy McKeon (both of Facts of Life), even Mary Lou Retton. Stewart's favored choice is the brother-sister team of Jason and Justine Bateman, and press photos and biographies are included for actors Stamos, Cohn, Dana Hill, and Lara Jill Miller.
As for branding, "SWEET VALLEY HIGH will be the hottest new 'fantasy' locale to capture the market since 'Camp Beverly Hills'." An SVH logo would fit nicely on "t-shirts, stickers, school supplies, diaries, etc."; Jessica and Elizabeth dolls could be designed; and not least, "the already hefty sales on the books will soar as the series brings the Wakefield Twins into the living rooms and bedrooms of every city and town in America." This beautiful vision of total Wakefield dominion was not to be, in spite of Stewart's plan to employ a psychologist as script consultant, her compelling character bios, and her full six-page synopsis of Book One, DOUBLE TROUBLE. The question must be asked: how could this proposal have failed, coming as it did from a writer who contributed to immortal properties like JEM, HE-MAN, SCOOBY-DOO, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, and even THE SNORKS? Were TV executives of the '80s just offended at the unwarranted sidelining of Lila Fowler? Or was it the failure of Bruce Patman's character bio to mention his vanity license plate, 1BRUCE1? That was probably it.
n.p: Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc, [circa 1985]. Full title: Sweet Valley High (Series Presentation) developed for television by Susan Misty Stewart. From a series of novels entitled 'Sweet Valley High' created by Francine Pascal. 11'' x 8.5''. Tan brad-bound wrappers with clear mylar front cover. Xerographically reproduced text and photographs printed rectos only. Moderate wear and creasing to outer wrappers. A few unobtrusive typo corrections in pencil to synopsis pages. Smudge to lower margin of first page; interior otherwise clean.
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