Our scene opens with two young HBO executives sitting across from each other, smoking furiously. One guy is slim and blonde, the other is slim and dark-haired. A plate of fresh vegetables is on the table between them, and while the blonde gnaws on a rather strange looking leafy green vegetable, the brunette gnaws on a piece of a carrot (organically grown, of course.)
Blonde: They hated it.
Brunette: What do you think, I’m blind? I saw the reviews, too. (pause) Will you just swallow the damn thing already? Your chomping is making me crazy.
Blonde: Hey, bag it. I don’t want Michelle marching in here while I’m eating a cup cake … What the hell do we do now? All the critics hated the show. They always loved Sorkin before!
Brunette: I know, I know. Everybody loved him.
Blonde: What are we gonna do? Once the word gets out, the show is toast!
Brunette: (thinking) We gotta get to the public before they read the reviews.
Blonde: And just how do you suggest we do that?
Brunette: (Swallowing hard) We allow the public to watch for free.
Blonde: What?!!!!!!! We’re HBO, not NBC.
Brunette: (reaching over to give the blonde a noogie) Think, McFly, think. You got a better plan?
Blonde: (rubbing his head resentfully) No.
Brunette: (eagerly) Look, we give it up for free. That’s bound to make people happy, right? Then they’re primed to like the show. We take a hit, sure, but it’s peanuts compared to cancelling the show!
Blonde: (grudgingly) I guess you’re right.
Brunette: Just one thing. Don’t tell Sorkin. The guy thinks he’s a genius and if he finds out we have our doubts –
Blonde: But how do we keep it from him?
Brunette: (thinking hard) Let me think … wait … we call him and tell him he’s been nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature and the Nobel Committee wants to interview him over there in Stockholm.
Blonde: You mean Oslo.
Brunette: Whatever. He flies over there, we air the show, and it’s over before he gets back.
Blonde: You really think he’d believe it?
Brunette: Get serious. They gave one to Obama before he even did diddly, didn’t they? Of course he’ll believe it.
Blonde: Okay. We’ll try it. But one more thing.
Blonde: Next time you eat the arugula, dammit.