The Betty’s Billions team was very happy with the project from when we last left off. The feedback and response to our pilot was positive, and we were excited to see that there was interest in our story and concept. We believe that there are three aspects to our show that made it resonate with people: the location, the plot device of a new project for Betty to help out with in each episode, and the central character herself. In terms of location, by having the show take place in Michigan, audiences would be able to connect with a community that is not often depicted in mainstream media. Viewers could get introduced to characters from middle America who have values we all hope to emulate ourselves: friendliness, helpfulness, and other community-driven beliefs. These themes can connect viewers to be invested in the show. We believe the plot device also helps make the show appealing. By having Betty take on a new case in each episode, viewers can meet and get to know a wide variety of characters. While there may be general season-spanning plotlines, our episode structure also encourages new viewers to come tune in at any time in the season. If a late viewer wants to watch the show, he or she can jump in at any point in the season. He or she doesn’t have to start from the very beginning of the season to know what will go on. The central character herself also appeals to people: she is a witty and independent older woman. This type of character goes against the grain of other older characters in media. From when we last left off, we improved the visuals in our storyboards as well as provided more backstory in the script.
Most of our time spent on our latest iteration was on discussing character backstories and how to make the show sustainable. While each standalone episode features Betty using her newfound wealth to help a particular individual, we believe it will be important to have season-long story arcs (that aren’t too complicated for the casual viewer just jumping in to understand). For example, Betty may have a season-long project with a particular individual but faces recurring problems with a large corporate entity that doesn’t want the project to happen. Another question we wanted to address is how to create conflicts for Betty. While the pilot just set the stage, we would like to have the relationship between Betty and her selfish relatives become a central conflict over the course of the show. The relatives may constantly be scheming (in comedic ways) to get a cut of Betty’s money, and Betty has to foil those plans while also maintaining a healthy family relationship with them. The last thing we addressed is making the Betty character more dynamic. In the pilot, we provide some backstory into how Betty receives her wealth and why she becomes motivated to help others. However, we plan to really emphasize her personality over the course of the entire show, such as her wit and charm. The Betty character is intended to be someone who people can root for and care about. Unlike other older characters, Betty finds herself at the ready with a funny one-liner. She’s intended to be perceived as intelligent and independent. We also believe that she will have a good deal of observational humor, as she comments and notices the wacky adventures that go on around her. While the character is modeled after Betty White, we believe any actress can step in and play the role, not just the iconic comic herself.