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Pitching HDTV

Mark Cuban is asking the unwashed masses to submit new show ideas for HDNet, his linear, 24/7 high-def channel. And it looks as if he's even serious about it.

"One of the most irritating and time wasting jobs at HDNet is listening to or reading pitch ideas for new shows," Cuban wrote on his blog.

Apparently, he believes reading pitches submitted via his blog will be much less irritating.

It's not exactly The Benefactor (his 2004 reality show that ABC canceled before the full season was completed), but Cuban's call generated 553 comments at last check.

But there are some ground rules. He wants something original. So stay away from shows about cooking, business plan competitions, American Idol knock-offs, and "pimp my whatever."

Also, you'd better be learned in the ways of Cuban's networks (HDNet and HDNet Movies). "If its [sic] obvious you don't know anything about HDNet or have never seen our networks, it will be deleted," he writes. Same goes for pitches having "anything to do with sports or a deck of cards."

One reader who didn't read the "rules" or just wanted to break them all simultaneously submitted a show in which contestants play a Dallas Maverick in a heads-up poker game. The winner gets 15 minutes to pitch Cuban on a business idea. Wow, boring and a rule-breaker.

Then there's this less-than-serious idea: Screwed... which follows a 20-something drywall screw salesman in the suburbs. Just goes to show that there's a belief that people will watch anything…as long as it's in hi-def.

"I would love to be able to come back and write a post about how we are developing, or have picked up a show based on a comment posted to the blog," Cuban added.

You have your assignment for the balance of spring. We'll keep you posted.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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