The World Needs More Pie

"Give a Piece a Chance." — Books. Blog. Pie Classes. And a Pinch of Activism.

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TV Pilot: What’s Next?

What happens when you spend 12 days shooting footage of other people baking pie? If you’re Janice, you fly back to your home in New Jersey, bake five pies (having never previously baked a pie in your entire life), and invite your whole family over to test your new culinary skills. (Janice’s friend Marguerite pictured below.)Janice was definitely paying attention from behind the camera. Look at those happy pie eaters! (Pictured below are Janice’s siblings and friends.)
While it’s well and good that we spent the past 2 weeks expanding our pie baking abilities, now what? What are the next steps in making a TV pie-lot?

One, we write a treatment. A treatment is the synopsis of what your show is about, along with the outline of what each episode will look like. Here’s a sneak preview of ours. Mind you, it’s a work in progress.

Pie is comfort. Pie builds community. Pie heals. Pie can change the world. That is what Beth Howard, journalist, blogger, and former pie baker to the stars in Malibu, always believed. But when Howard’s 43-year-old husband dies suddenly and unexpectedly, she must put her theory to a personal test. As part of her grieving process just a few months after his death she packs up the RV her husband left behind and hits the American highways and byways in search of the real healing powers of pie. During her journey she interviews an eclectic array of people – pie bakers, shop owners, apple growers, social activists, philanthropists, cartoonists, song writers, 92-year-old grandmothers, and even a pie-delivering bike messenger – people who make the world a happier place, and who help Howard ease her grief, all because of an iconic American dessert.

“The World Needs More Pie” is a docu-reality series of one-hour episodes hosted by Beth Howard. Howard seeks out fellow pie bakers, pie lovers, and people who use pie to help others. She goes into their pie shops, their commercial kitchens, their fruit orchards, their homes, and beyond to explore not only their pie baking techniques and tips but to learn about their real lives. She always wants to know “Why pie?” but she delves further with quirky questions like, “If you were a pie what kind would you be?” and more pressing ones like, “How can pie change the world?”

In the pilot – er, pie-lot – we follow Howard as she teaches others (from 9-year-olds to 30-somethings) how to make pie, enlists her friends to help her make 50 pies to give away for free on National Pie Day, visits her old Malibu pie baking employer, and stops off at several legendary diners to sample the pies that made them famous.

Traveling in the RV around the USA, every episode of the series is a new adventure in people, places, and pie. With the arrival in each small town, big city and everywhere in between, we meet new characters in their own environments. The stories are as plentiful, rich, and abundant as the many flavors of pie we get to taste along the way.

Examples of future segments include:

• The Ultimate Pie Connoisseurs – Inside the lives of Truckers and their favorite truck-stop pie

• We’ll be the Judge – Howard is invited to be a pie judge at Crisco’s National Pie Championship in Orlando, Florida

• Blueberry Wars – The competition is fierce. Who’s got better berries – Oregon, Michigan, or Maine?

• *Cream of the Crop – Where does whipped cream come from? We gain a closer connection to our food by talking to dairy farmers (*We do variations on this segment for other pie ingredients as well – flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fruit, etc.)

Howard documents her story daily on her blog: She writes about her own journey through grief, about the inspiring people she meets, about the many valuable lessons learned along the way, and, of course, about the pie.

So give a piece a chance. Grab a fork and come along for the ride.

Two, Janice and her sister Lisa travel to a TV development conference in Washington, D.C., where they pitch the show idea to executives who can actually get this show on the air.

Three, we set up follow up meetings with any interested TV execs and hope they give us the thumbs up, along with the cash and crew to go back out on the road, crisscross the USA like a lattice crust, and bring you many more pie stories!

Hopefully, we pique the interest of a hungry network/cable channel. But navigating the world of television can be more obstinate than rolling pie dough on a hot day, so wish us luck!