“The Fashion Show,” a high octane network program, featured a group of talented fashion designers. They competed every week hoping to become the show’s fashion designer of the year
The show’s producers gave the designers a different fashion assignment every week. They had a budget, and a designated shop where they had to buy their materials. Camera crews followed the designers as they bought their materials, prepared designs in a common work area, chatted in the break room, and fitted models.
When the designers finished drawing and stitching and sewing and fitting their creations, “The Fashion Show” put their work on the air for a nationwide television audience. Toward the end of each show, judges critiqued the designers’ work after their models walked the runway.
If the judges chose their outfits, the designers stayed on the show. Each week one designer was eliminated.
Some designers were very angry over being dropped. Jasson Slade and Meredith Kline, whose designs had been ridiculed, were bitter. They vowed revenge and contacted other angry designers.
Together they formed a plot to produce a satire of “The Fashion Show.” They called it “Bogus Threads.”
The plot leaders recruited expert volunteers for what was a complicated operation. When they were ready to go they had a fully equipped television studio with producers, sets, camera crews, sound crews, fabric and accessory supplies, a designer work area, models, editors, and a panel of bogus judges.
The bogus show looked better than the real show. Video and sound were highly professional and the editing was flawless. The bogus designs looked ghastly, the bogus models were obese and gawky, and the bogus judges wore clown costumes.
When “Bogus Threads” was ready to go on the air, Jasson Slade and Meredith Kline took over the operation.. They had figured out how to hijack an entire episode of “The Fashion Show,” and replace it with “Bogus Threads.”
They bribed, “pillow talked” and black mailed key studio workers, the network control booth technicians, and the key people in the network production offices. They planned the coup as carefully , the Allies planned the D-Day invasion. The plotters called their invasion B-Night.
Not only did they have to hack into a national network’s primetime television signal, they had to keep the bogus program on the air for an hour. To accomplish that feat, Jasson and Meredith had to neutralize one top network entertainment executive, a man named Rolf Brendlemeyer.
Brendlemeyer was a former BBC Television kingpin who left England to become chairman of the U.S. network’s entertainment division. He supervised all episodes of “The Fashion Show,” from the time they were conceived until the last credits appeared at the end of the show.
Meredith knew that Brendlemeyer watched “The Fashion Show” while he ate dinner. To keep Brendlemeyer from shutting down the bogus show as soon as it appeared, Meredith put psychedelic mushrooms in his catered salad.
The B-Night invasion came off flawlessly. At the top of the hour, during a commercial break, the plotters hacked into the network, deleted “The Fashion Show,” and substituted “Bogus Threads.” The show had been on the air less a minute when Brendlemeyer’s direct line sounded..
“Sir, this is Peter Gridley in the studio. Someone has hijacked our signal. They’re broadcasting a fake program.”
“What ho, Petey me lad?”
“Sir, did you hear me? Someone has hijacked “The Fashion Show.”
“No. No. Itsh jus’ fine. I’m warchin’ it right now. Lookin’ great! Petey. Itsh Lookin’ jus great. Cheers Old Top.”
“Sir, you mean you just want us to let this disaster run?”
Of cho..Churse, old top. The shee-oh must go on, what? Let it run, laddie.”
“Yes, sir. If you say so, sir.”
In the end it was a pyrrhic victory for the plotters. As soon as “Bogus Threads,” came on their screens, viewers got on the Internet, cell phones and personal digital devices to alert their friends. The show blew the roof off the network’s audience rating for that hour. The designer’s plot spawned half a dozen reality shows that examined the hijacking. “The Fashion Show,” lived another five seasons.
Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co