Pitching Ideas For A New Motorcycle TV Show

hughkingEvery day, hundreds of individuals and independent producers try to pitch new TV Show ideas to all networks. The best way to do it after a pre-approval on a concept? Shooting a pilot. Usually quite an expensive venture. At least 99% of concepts proposed are rejected because considered not “large audience” enough to be profitable via advertising before and during the show. But sometimes you hit the jackpot and become producer or at least co-producer of your own TV Show.

Success stories include Hugh King with “Motorcycle Mania” and “Biker Build-Off”, Rich Christensen with “Pinks”, Jesse James with “Jesse James Is A Dead Man” produced by his own production company “Pay-Up Sucker Productions”.  I usually don’t publish about all the concepts I know being pitched and Pilots being shot. But since I had readers asking me several times about a new Hugh King project (I say project) I am going to tell you just a little bit. The concept called “Chopper Wars” would be to have builders build WW2 style bikes in a hangar featuring old planes. A panel of experts (Ness, Nichols, historians?) would judge the bikes. And what Channel would be the most interested? The History Channel, of course. More to follow when I hear good news...(picture Hugh King)

29 Responses to “Pitching Ideas For A New Motorcycle TV Show”

  1. 1 FreeBird Jun 18th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Sounds like a call to bobber nation to me. I love the idea. Why not throw in some classic rods as well.

  2. 2 DOZER Jun 18th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I’m emceeing Michigan Chopper Fest with Larry Davidson from July 23-26th and the kick off on Thursday is featuring builders that specialize in antique bikes. I think it’s a helluva way to kick off an event and I’m pretty sure there would be many people interested in a show like that at this event.If you need pilot footage to show the interest in the antique scope of building this might be the place!

  3. 3 Miles G. Brown Jun 18th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Well…….We heard a rumour about this one a few weeks ago…….Interesting and unique concept . I wonder what kind of interest could be generated if given the criteria and era of the initial concept , the builders chosen had to build their bikes under the following guidelines..
    1: Bike has to be from the war era.
    2: All parts have to be period correct or hand modified originals , (or parts from other
    mechanical media from the era , be it automotive , industrial , agricultural , aeronautical etc.)
    3: Tools and equipment used in the build process must only be from that era ( no modern
    c.n.c milling machines and lathes , tig and mig welders etc.)
    4: Finishes can only be of the type available for the period . ( no modern powder coating ,
    modern paint or other post war finish technology .

    Old School seems to be the New craze…….

  4. 4 Miles G. Brown Jun 18th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    In any event …….Hugh , or anyone else thats interested in old stuff … we’ve got a museum up here in my neck of the woods that has a whole wing devoted to planes and flying machines of the past includeing the famous Avril Aero . They also have squirelled away in the depths of their archives a warehouse full of both pre and post war motorcycles of all styles and descriptions just waiting to be restored to their former glory………If anyones interested contact us and we’ll tell you more about it .

    As i said in my previous post ( before my sausage fingers accidently hit the submit button ) for myself I’d be interested in watching and certainly learning from any old time masters what they would imagine and come build under the guidelines i stated .
    Be awsome to see someone work a lead paddle , a solder torch and irons , brazeing and bronze sweating techniques , work annealed copper , or a forge …….Before it’s too late .

    But maybe I’m just one of those “Old Guys “

  5. 5 Conrad Jun 19th, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Hey look, its Hugh King. One day nerd who came up with a few cool shows next day grows hair to look like my father. COOL…NOT

  6. 6 A 1 cycles Jun 19th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    i shot a pilot with rich christensen about a year ago and it finaly is coming to fruition, its like a pinks style show but for motorcycles, you dont lose your bike if you win you win a bike..i think it will be cool but im biased, its tough right now, no advertising money…the best way to get your show aired it to pay for pilot out of pocket and buy the airtime yourself and rely on your sales staff to sell the add time on your show…goot team of sales people and keeping production costs low equals profit to push your next show, he has 5 shows already on air so ibelieve he will get this one done also..check out the pilot for free at Arm Drop Bikes

  7. 7 A 1 cycles Jun 19th, 2009 at 7:46 am

    oh yeah larry davidson is one of the nicest promoters i have ever met. his show is awesome..cant wait to go there. michigan chopper fest rocks

  8. 8 LD Ablo Jun 19th, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Larry Davidson rocks! His hair is worthy of its own show.

  9. 9 Kevin Warren Jun 19th, 2009 at 8:24 am


    I think the show is before you and we read it everyday. While I’m a fan of
    Top Gear out of the U.K. for car stuff I think you and a couple friends could
    turn the site into an amazing show.
    Honestly, how many cool niche products and ideas do you see as a result
    of this site and those that grow roots and prosper we end up seeing and reading
    about. All the new bikes from manufacturers would make great test ride spots.
    Celebrity guest interviews with builders, designers, photographers, the girl who
    answers the phone in a shop are all good stuff. Pitch the show around this site
    and you’ll do well, I think. Mostly, because the site is the essence of customs
    as personified by you and no one says it better.

    I’ll plug Hank Young for the show on WWII bikes based on the criteria.
    It reads like his bio.


  10. 10 FHP Scott Jun 19th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Rock on Hue…

    At a time when the industry is suffering, we need new programming that prompts people to buy products and support their local builders and the industry as a whole.

    Guys don’t forget….motorcycle type TV programs… whether you liked them or not, prompted customers to modify their bikes and attend ralleys and buy product.

    Jessie, Billy, Larry, Russell, Keino, Paul and many others would not have been known outside the regular motorcycle magazine readers.

    I hope that the new round of productions could help the guys who have sustained throught the tough times.

  11. 11 Rock Star Jun 19th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    how about a show showing Jesse James jumping a Chopper over a tank of sharks.

    the trend is OVER.

  12. 12 sheriff Jun 19th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    leave the tubes ride the roads of US of A instead

  13. 13 David Jun 19th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I’ll be spending my time riding or reading!! I’m about tried of these kind of shows all they do is eat up your time. Relax on the patio with a cold one instead!!!!


  14. 14 Vette Jun 19th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Definitely cool!

    We do need good news for the industry. I am looking forward to this and other new projects (like H-D Harlistas) that feature the motorcycle culture in a positive light. Thanks, Cyril

  15. 15 Dylan Jun 19th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Can Australians be involved too!?

  16. 16 James (Kiwi) Jun 19th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Hell…. who would want an Aussie involved

    Just kidding Anzac!!

    Reckon it is a great idea and format but what about having to ride them as a group say 300 miles in one day or something like that.
    I like the builds but bikes should be built to be ridden thats one of the reasons things have gotten out of shape!!
    Too many unrideable,unreliable bikes built and left in sheds to rot

    I reckon riding an ol UL distance would be fun if somewhat demanding compared to a modern bike

    And another thing Allied bikes only ie Pommie,Yank and and…. can’t think of any one else unless you include the Italians but they changed sides at half time..

    Better go the frost has melted, so it’s time for a ride


  17. 17 JT Jun 19th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Hugh King is doing what he does best, making good solid TV programs. He has been really good for the motorcycle industry. As for the comment that Hugh grew his hair long to look like Jeff Nicklus, are you kidding? That’s like saying that Ed Norton wants to look like Ralph Kramden! Keep up the good work Hugh.

  18. 18 ROGUE Jun 21st, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I would like to suggest they check out Dale Walksler and his Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley N.C.
    I recently visited it and was very impressed.
    You can find out more by visiting the web site at http://www.wheelsthroughtime.com

  19. 19 B-17 Biker Jun 21st, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I’m all for kool motorcycle shows but this concept doesn’t grab me. Hope I’m pleasantly surprised if it does come out but…

    Not feeling it.

  20. 20 Gina Woods Jun 22nd, 2009 at 11:07 am

    The shows have been good for the industry…you have to admit they have made the general public aware and interested…better biz for all.
    I will be at Larry’s too… Grand Marshal for the Antique Bike Parade…where’s my staff…(didn’t Bozo carry one?)

  21. 21 Antone Jun 22nd, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    A1 Cycles “the show was great” I hope it gets air time..

  22. 22 ProMoto Jun 22nd, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    “A panel of experts (Ness, Nichols, historians?)”

    I would guess Ness, Hotch, and Goldammer – true bike builders that have years of proven talent at championship shows and the accolades from their peers that respect them. Hank Young or Jim Nasi would be a good choice as well.

    Even the toughest critics would be hard pressed to challenge them, and… that’s what you want, no BS.

  23. 23 Brandon Jun 22nd, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Nasi? LOL. Overweight and very boring bikes with pretention but no finesse. For instant success, just take the brightest and best looking guys. Mitchell, Lane, Huze.

  24. 24 CoppellDarryl Jun 22nd, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Ok granted, a TV critic I am not. In fact, I can remember watching the premier episode of “Dallas” when it came out and told someone it was an ok show but that it would never make it…. lol.

    Anyway, can we really say Jesse James is a Dead Man series is a success? Didn’t it just make it’s premier? I think it had good numbers for a premier, but let it at least run a few more weeks to see if it holds up before we say it is a success.

  25. 25 JJ Jun 22nd, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Hey Brandon, sounds like your a little gay… brightest and best looking guys? Just what this industry needs is more imaged based marketing. Mitchell and Lane sell t-shirts more than bikes. You might want to do a little more research instead of guy gayzing. This industry is supposed to be about motorcycles, not how well they act on TV or how many t-shirts they sell… or how good looking they are;)
    Quality is what will advance into the new era…

  26. 26 James Jun 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 am

    I think that Brandon post was about a choice of judges. And I agree with him. Better take builders who are intelligent and know how to talk about custom motorcycles and motorcycle history to judge other builders who may be ok at building but have nothing to say except f….every 3 words to look like tough guys. Anyway, the show concept Cyril is talking about is not very appealing to me. Or it is a show about history or about building motorcycles. Between, it will be a fiasco. Will not watch.

  27. 27 Frank Jun 25th, 2009 at 2:34 pm


    Dude, forget about the TV shows and take some time for yourself. First thing, STOP Smoking the cigarettes, you look like walking death. Second thing, get a face lift – the Skelatore look is so 80’s!

  28. 28 nicker Jun 27th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Spot On…!

    “…Better take builders who are intelligent and know how to talk about custom motorcycles and motorcycle history to judge other builders who may be ok at building but have nothing to say except f….every 3 words…”

    Now this would certainly help the “industry”…..
    Not to mention help dampen the zeal for the current wave of anti- MC legislation….. 🙁

    IMHO anyway

  29. 29 Skidz Jun 29th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Us Aussie’s have a few shows in the works, far more original than just choppers…Rumour has it there’s a new bike show coming Dangerous Toys… It’s on the http://www.theinspiredvd.com website.

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Cyril Huze