Coming soon? A reality show about a community newspaper

NBC Peacock Productions — the company responsible for “The Brokaw Files,” “Secrets of Navy SEALS,” “Storm Stories” and other programs — is planning a “documentary-style reality show” about a small-town newspaper that’s “working hard to stay on top of breaking small-town news and keep financially afloat in an ever-increasing competitive.”

NBC Peacock wants to hear from newspaper bosses interested in being considered for the show. (The production company asks: “Is your team a real version of ‘The Office’ meets ‘Parks and Recreation?'”) If that’s you, email Peacock at smalltownnewspapersshow@gmail.com or call 212-664-2307. I’ve asked them to give Romenesko readers more information about this project.

* Casting call for newspapers (nnaweb.org)

UPDATE: Some of the comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers:
“During the series, the show moves from NBC to online only.”
“In the first episode the publisher comes in to demand that his nephew be named the managing editor.”
“Suddenly the cast of Portlandia will be handsome by comparison.”
“This is likely to have a lot of drinking, adultery and off-color comments, so I’d say it will be a success.”
“To steal a line from colleague Jane Burns: Downsized Abbey.”

UPDATE II: Stan Schwartz of the National Newspaper Association says he was told by NBC Peacock Productions that the show is in “the idea phase.” He adds: “I’m not sure when it is scheduled for production, or even if it will ever make it to the little screen.” Schwartz was told the day after the ad first ran that nine papers had asked about the show.

He also notes:

We’ve had some of our members not really happy with this. One newspaper in particular said he ran a similar casting call a few years ago, searching for Amish participants and that ended up as the show “Amish in the City.” The publisher said he was upset with how that show distorted reality and made comedy fodder out of Amish people.

* Editor to producers: “It would be a pleasure to be your national laughingstock” (wicknews.wordpress.com)

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