Free Sports Radio

Two Filipino-American brothers purchase a radio station in a small city, dreaming of commercial free sports talk, but their ambitious, younger sister has bigger plans for herself and the station.

Bob and Dickey need cash.

The two Filipino-American brothers own a profitable lumber company in western New York but they recently created and independent sports-talk radio station.

The endeavor is costing more than they estimated. Now, they must apply for a loan and deal with their sister Frances, who is their bank’s manager

Frances argues an independent sports talk station will struggle in their small city with no major professional teams but a commercial one may thrive considering the brothers highly regarded reputation as businessmen.

Bob and Dickey don’t’ bite –- they don’t want to listen to commercials.

The boys are prepared for rejection until Frances offers an alternative: She will put up her own money in exchange for an equal share in the station.

Bob and Dickey readily accept the offer. What could go wrong?

The former classical radio station host Leontyne begins her on-air project, “We went to a baseball game and an opera broke out.” She plays operatic compositions then suggests fitting points to play them during baseball games.

Then, Birdie and Leak begin their show introducing themselves as two brothers in their 70s who prefer to talk about the days of sports past. But the reveries prompt Leak to lament the deaths of both his and Birdie’s wife in the past year.

Later, the provocative host Joc defends the fictional University of Genesee Valley’s hockey program against a penalty for their role in a sex abuse scandal. This draws a passionate response from the caller known as The Father from Not So Happy Valley, who verbally emasculates Joc for his defense of the school.

Bob and Dickey throw a Halloween party to raise money for the station. The guests don costumes resembling sports-related figures.

Frances fumes after learning all the money donated at the party is slated for the winner of the costume contest — she brought in a handful of wealthy businesspeople who donated considerable sums.

Leak grills Birdie about rumors he’s booking bets. Birdie says its peanuts among a few longtime friends.

A guest wearing a mask disguised as a baseball umpire hounds Joc as he broadcasts live from the party. Bob and Dickey win the costume contest because no one can guess who they’re dressed as. Frances is relieved.

The Father from Not-So-Happy Valley calls into Joc’s show. Joc criticizes him for not attending the party. The caller mocks Joc’s lack of self-awareness as he stands in the parking lot outside still in his umpire costume.

When Joc’s pregnant wife, Hope, passes him to enter the party, the Father from Not-So-Happy Valley warns Joc she's approaching.

Joc tears past the revelers dancing and runs outside like a man whose life hangs in the balance. He watches the Father From Not-So-Happy-Valley's car zip out of the parking lot.

Joc returns to the party.

Hope stands in the middle of the room looking at Joc with the joyful expression of a child.

Joc stares at Hope as if it's the last time he's ever going to see her.

Confetti falls from the rafters.

Hope looks up, closes her eyes and lets the confetti on her face.

Joc watches as she disappears behind the dancers

End Pilot.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
TV Pilot
Starring Roles For:
40ish Filipino-American man
30ish Filipino-American man
20's Filipino-American woman
In the Vein Of:
Sports Night
Party Down
Bad lieutenant
Author Bio:
James Palmer is a former reporter and photographer who covered civil and regional conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. His stories and photos appeared in the Guardian, Washington Post, Toronto Star, Der Spiegel and Reuters, among others. He was awarded the Nicholas Blake Grant for international freelance reporting in 2007 for his work in Iraq. The Newark Star-Ledger twice nominated him for a Pulitzer Prize in foreign reporting for his work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Contest Results:
Oaxaca FilmFest (Finalist) [2021]
Screenplay Festival (Semifinalist) [2019]
Screenwriting Master (Semifinalist) [2020]
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