Private Project

Third Shift TV Pilot

In order to save jobs at an infomercial call center from the vindictive owner’s son, an awkward amateur inventor must unite a team of dysfunctional employees or risk being considered obsolete in the digital age.

  • John Gearries
    Writer
    Third Shift - web series, Twiharder
  • Rich Baker
    Writer
    Third Shift - web series, Epic Rap Battles of History
  • Project Type:
    Screenplay, Television Script, Treatment
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Office Comedy, Ensemble Comedy
  • Number of Pages:
    32
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • First-time Screenwriter:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Stage 32 6th Annual Television Writing Contest
    Los Angeles, CA
    February 15, 2021
    Quarter Finals
  • Quarterfinalist, HollyShorts Screenwriting Competition 2022
    Los Angeles, CA
    August 1, 2022
    Quarterfinals
  • Quarterfinalist, Stage 32 TV Comedy Screenwriting Contest 2022
Writer Biography - John Gearries, Rich Baker

John Gearries and Rich Baker are a comedy writing duo that keep the laughs coming. They met at Second City doing improv and decided to combine forces to create the production company Stronger Entertainment.

Third Shift, the web series, was the first project they took on and it won numerous awards prompting the creators to write the TV pilot you see here on this project page.

Add Writer Biography
Writer Statement

The American dream can mean many things but for Wendell Wright it only means one thing, becoming an inventor. Since childhood he’s been fascinated by infomercials and idolized the products and inventors. He’s a talented creator but lacks the confidence to bring his products to market. To make ends meet, he works late night at Baron Solutions selling infomercial products aired on the Stuff Network. Even though his coworkers are all bizarre he is by far the worst salesperson among them.

His world is turned upside down when the owner decides to make his immature college dropout son, Ian Baron, the General Manager. Ian can’t stand working the third shift and is determined to get his nights back for partying. He hires a team of digital Zoomers (think Minions in Despicable Me) to move infomercials into the digital age with Instagram ads, Amazon placement and self-automation.

Ian’s does everything he can to get rid of the Third Shift like setting impossible sales quotas and having them sell faulty products. This group of awkward individuals band together to save their way of life. Challenges they face throughout the series include an earthquake, a blackout, a raid, evil leadership, the dark web, sexual harassment, alcoholism, and late-night snacks at the local Armenian diner.

To increase sales numbers the bungling sales manager Alec Balding brings on a hot shot salesman, Jackson Blake, from a huge competitor QTV. While his track record is unimpeachable, his sales methods are more Draconian and centered around manipulation. He immediately clashes with Willow Ono, an earthy mother of six, who strongly believes the only way of life is in ethical harmony with others. She’ll gladly lose a sale if it means keeping her soul.

Competition not only involves QTV but also Motherload Industries who’s always looking for ways to take Baron Solutions off the grid by poaching talent and advertising better products.

However, the team stays sharp through motivational seminars where telemarketer Damien Decker, is challenged with the backlash of their non-binary status and the stoic retired Army Veteran Mike Hartman deals with his PTSD.

We also peek into the world of virtual reality through the IT professional Seth Creet. Seth lives in the metaverse under an alias with a kingdom of worshipers. He has many outlets on the dark web making him additional income but is secretly hardwiring the building to maintain his vast number of servers.

While the team works together against the Zoomers on the day shift, Wendell pursues his romantic connection with Ruby Andrews, the Office Manager, who longs to be a Broadway star. McKenzie Masters, the youngest on staff, crushes on Jackson but must focus on getting into law school.

The first season ends when Wendell pitches the prototype of his invention to a panel of investors on the hit show Sell Me, Baby. If successful, this could change not only Wendell’s life but everyone else on the Third Shift. At the heart of the series each character is on a journey of self-acceptance. As they grow, they learn to support each other as a team to fulfill their individual dreams while scraping by.