Here we go again. For tv_universe we had to create a new tv-show concept with main and additional characters graphics and meta or episode writing. I really love to do this even when I hadn't a good idea for a long time. Two weeks ago, during my thai-bo course I finally could see my concept. I'm glad I can post my show with the title Exchange Detroit in time.
Joshua Riley and Liza Young are students at Wayne State University in Detroit. Both hadn't been the very very best with their college applications so they just received semi-scholarships. Detroit is insolvent - student jobs rare. How should they earn money for their living?
A project at their economic class brings the right idea to get coaching, private lessons and teaching material. Together with Karim Tahan an informatics student Joshua and Liza launch Exchange Detroit - a website to share and trade books and services. Paper help vs. house-sitting, math lessons vs. Cheerleader uniform, 1st semester statics-book vs. bed at dorm: MAKE THE DEAL.
Within one year www.ExchangeDetroit.com grows over the borders of Wayne State. The people who stays at bankrupt Detroit enjoy to afford the little things of life without any money. You just need to offer something to MAKE THE DEAL.
Joshua Riley played by RJ Mitte
Joshua Riley was born in Detroit and also spent his whole youth in the city. He knew the surrounding very well. It made him sad how Detroit changed to worse after the housing bubble burst but he loves to stroll through lost buildings, discovering the past life of strangers. His studies are divided in architecture and economics.
Joshua's parents died in a car accident only a few month before he started at Wayne State. He also was injured and sometimes felt the aftermath of the accident. With no family and financial background Joshua tries to make the best of the situation. He found a lost house with no windows but still running water and power. Everything he needed to make his new home cozy, he had collected in houses of the neighborhood.
His first university DEAL: house-sitting of Karim's penthouse apartment (luckily over the winter months) vs. programming www.ExchangeDetroit.com.
Liza Young played by Hayley McFarland
Liza Young was born in an extended family with a long car mechanics tradition. She is the second youngest child of six and the first one going to college studying Mechanical Engineering. Getting the acceptance by Wayne State is a dream come true. Finally she can escape the narrow life of a small Georgia town and discover the big city.
Even when her whole family supports Liza, money is poor. After her first semester she can't afford to go back in a dorm. Liza loved the rotten architecture of Detroit but she is afraid to move alone in a left house. Joshua offered her a whole floor of his squatted house. He has more than enough space.
Her first university DEAL: math-lessons for a full-scholarship but thick as a brick Football Player vs. a totally rusted 1967 Chevy Impala to repair.
Karim Tahan played by Elyas M'Barek
Karim Tahan had it all. His father is a plastic surgeon, his mother a successful lawyer. But he didn't rest on the standing and money of his parents. He wanted to go his own way and left New York City to study Informatics in Detroit. Even during his study Karim wrote different security software programs to earn money - much money and found two start-up companies in an old industrial building.
As Liza and Joshua accost with the idea of www.ExchangeDetroit.com Karim decided to use the page and the socio-economic facet to write a Ph.D thesis over it and to draw level with his demanding and overshadowing parents.
Matthew Warren played by Russell Hornsby
Matthew Warren is a glazier and has an own small company with his ex-brother in law. Because of the economic situation it's also not easy for his business to scratch a living. Matthew is newly-wed to Paul and the father of Amanda and Michael. With Angela his first wife and mother of his children he still has a good relationship and they share the child custody of their second born. His daughter Amanda, Wayne State master student told him of www.ExchangeDetroit.com. He is the first not student using the page.
His first DEAL: New windows for Joshua's and Liza's house vs. free car repairs from Liza for his company and private cars during her whole study.
Freya Olsen played by Virginia Williams
Freya Olsen is a personal fitness trainer. She is a former ballerina of the Royal Danish Ballet the world's third oldest ballet company. She moved to the US only a few years ago, followed a guy to Detroit who left her from one day to another without any warning. Freya loves all forms of dancing. Moving to music is her life. She also can feel the bad economic situation. Not many people can still afford her courses.
But Freya heard of www.ExchangeDetroit.com from Karim who joins one of her Street dance class every week. She likes the idea very much and starts to offer her training lessons in exchange for other services or for fruits and vegetables her guilty pleasure.
Her first DEAL: Tango lessons vs. an own vegetable patch at Angela Warren's urban garden.
Prof. Robert Bennett played by Tony Goldwyn
Robert Bennett is the dean of the economic sciences faculty at the Wayne State University. He enjoys to read the freshman lectures, giving important impulses to the young adults. The project work at the end of the first semester is always his biggest joy. Robert loves the creativity of his students. But lately more and more repetitions cross his desk. But the service exchange web-page idea of Liza Young and Joshua Riley really satisfy him more than expected. He didn't think one second to help them with his professional knowledge to launch the webpage and legalize the company. Prof. Bennett is also more than willing to be the supervisor of Karim's Ph.D.
Paul Thompson played by Dan Bucatinsky
Paul Thompson is the husband of Matthew. Beside from Matthew he knew all his life that he is homosexual. He would never admit but there is a tiny fear that Matthew would change his mind again and go back to his ex-wife.
Paul really like the new family life with Matthews children. For the first time of his life he thinks of an own child and knows that Matthew is the right partner. Now he just has to convince Matthew to have another baby and find out which possibility would be the right for them.
Paul is a lawyer but is also an extraordinary member of the faculty of law at Wayne State, giving one lecture a week. Nevertheless he is suspicious about www.ExchangeDetroit.com. He is also the ball-room dance partner of Freya. She already ended her professional dance career but together they take part at amateur dancing contests.
Angela Warren played by Gloria Reuben
Angela Warren grew up on a big farm in Alabama until she followed her first husband to Detroit. She is proud of her two children. Looking back on her marriage with Matthew she sees all the good things and moments they had. But they married much too young.
After her divorce and with one child out of the household Angela has as much free time as never before in her life. She leased an empty parcel of land between left General Motors factory buildings and started an urban gardening project. She installed small patches and people can grow their own vegetable. She heard about www.ExchangeDetroit.com and also offers land in exchange to other goods.
Angela met a man, the cook of her favorite restaurant. He is 10 years younger but with him it's hot - not only during tango lessons.
Lucy Jones played by Danielle Panabaker
Lucy Jones enjoys her live very much with each week a new guy, sometimes a girl and one or two joints a night to relax. The university and her architecture study comes second. But as she heard of Liza's and Joshua's living in the left house she is hooked. She wants to join the unusual house-sharing community. It needs time to convince the two other students but offering roofing work from one of her late affairs helps a lot.
Lucy is a designer and she loves to reconstruct furniture. Like Joshua she wanders through left houses of Detroit and picks up chairs, tables and boards with potential. There is always a man to help her carry the heavy stuff. With all the space on her new home Liza spends much more time with her handcraft. She uses www.ExchangeDetroit.com to market her furniture. He big goal is to have an own exhibition and Lucy will work hard on it to get.
Adriano Testa played by Jason Wiles
Adriano Testa is a bull. Even with the bad economic situation in Detroit he survived and gets richer and richer. It's a pleasure for him to see the man on the street drown and break. Testa's newest project is to corner the estate marked in the neighborhood of Joshua, Liza and Lucy to build a huge mall. But the three students get a hint of Testa's activities. Before the police can clear their squatted house they arrange a bank appointment and buy the house themselves.
He also gets in trouble with Angela and her urban gardening. Freya dated him a few times but Adriano's only topic of conversation is Adriano. Not really interesting for a well-traveled and educated woman like her.
The first season of Exchange Detroit has a few different topics and arcs. The viewer will see how Liza and Joshua become project partners in their minor field of study. We discover how they grow a friendship over the work at www.ExchangeDetroit.com. We will see in detail how they write the concept for the web-page and how Prof. Bennett encourages them to transfer the project to the web. It's not hard to convince Karim to join their team. He likes to push other students to have their own success and he really likes the concept. He knows it will be a hit even when the test phase is nerve wrecking.
To announce the new web-page the three students use the usual social medias. What is an easy game for Liza and Karim, is more difficult for Joshua. He has no own facebook or twitter account, doesn't know how to pronounce tumblr. It will be funny to watch him getting used to a smart phone.
But they will also use Karim's and Prof. Bennett's different business networks to launch the page and make it more public. Joshua and Liza also go the old fashioned way with bulletins at the university notice-boards and an article in the university newspaper. We will see the word-of-mouth advertising run through the whole university complex - from one lecture to the sports trainings facilities, next are the cafeterias and over the whole campus.
Another arc is the house Liza, Joshua and later Lucy living into. The viewer of Exchange Detroit will see how the ramshackle hut transforms over many deals and with different contributions to a cozy and safe home. It will be interesting how first one than two and later three people share the different floors and how they arrange their living situation. Later of the first season the three will have an appointment with a bank. For only one dollar the bank commits the deed and makes their living legal. They never checked how much the house changed and that the students seized the building for months. With the success of www.ExchangeDetroit.com, incoming advertising revenue and the funding of an belonging inc. the three keepers find another left object to transfer the company from their private life. They also think of getting even more left houses to offer them to other students who look for an alternative life. Paul Thompson and his juristic expertise will be a big help for the company founding and house owning.
On the other hand the viewer will see Matthew Warren and his family. How he arranges his old life with Angela and his new life with Paul. There are Paul's wishes of an own baby and Matthew's two grown up children. He has to deal with the bad economic state of Detroit and the temper of the other glazier's shop owner, his ex brother-in-law.
Over Liza, who will check all of Matthew's cars in the future because of the DEAL they made, he meets Lucy. Matthew is really impressed by her furniture designs and together they will work at glass and mirrors to combine it with wood.
When you want to see the single pages of www.ExchangeDetroit.com in detail and web-resolution click here.