I get offended when I realize that just about every profession under the sun is represented on television shows-except financial advisors. You've got cops, lawyers, doctors, military officers and even (in descending order of public opinion) bartenders, bowling alley proprietors, reporters, coroners and politicians. OK, I can understand why there are no accountants ... I mean ... well, you know. But no financial advisors! What's up with that?

So, I've submitted a pilot script to ABC for the fall 2001 lineup. It combines concepts "adapted" (entertainment-industry jargon for "stolen") from two blockbuster shows-"Survivor" and "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." My motivation is pure: I want to right a gross injustice to our profession-plus, I'd really like an excuse to wear colored shirts with matching ties to work.

I've titled the show "Surviving the Millionaire Equity/Asset Roundup," or SMEAR for short. The show combines financial education with pathos, drama and life-threatening situations. Here's the premise: Five financial advisors are set loose on a dangerous, inhospitable island-say, Manhattan-on a quest to see who can bag the most "big game." The quarry is 10 recent winners of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" who are still wandering through Gotham's asphalt jungle, Regis' check in hand, not knowing what on earth to do with all that new-found loot (besides giving almost half to George W., who in turn will give it all, plus a sizable chunk of the Defense Department budget, to Bill Gates in the form of estate-tax relief).

The challenge for each advisor is to locate these 10 millionaires amid New York's teeming masses of unqualified prospects and convince them to become clients -all without succumbing to the countless life and career-threatening pitfalls of the city. The millionaires meet and vote each week to toss one of the advisors off the island and into New Jersey (a fate worse than death). Of course, each advisor will have abundant opportunities to SMEAR the other guys, proclaiming the insanity of his opponents' investment advice-kind of like commando training for a bear market. As in real life, the surviving advisor who is still on the island at the end of the season gets to keep all of the millionaires' money (after a brief period of rapid and frequent portfolio turnover).

To make this baby fly, I need a high-profile host. I considered Al Gore to get the sympathy viewership. He is in New York teaching journalism at Columbia-not exactly a megabucks landing that will get Tipper that new furniture. (Al could really use some serious career counseling from, say, Dick Cheney.) But Al is no Bob Barker, and his reputation as a stiff would turn off the network brass. I also considered radio talk-show host Don Imus-high profile, definitely not stiff, and works out of New York. But a one-hour show can't take 40 minutes of hawking turquoise Buffalo T-shirts and salsa. Ultimately, I landed on a low-key host who will not interrupt the flow with a lot of commentary and opinions-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

I've already selected several of the initial millionaires, based entirely on their responses to Regis' question: "What are you going to do with all that money?" They are a diverse and challenging group of prospects:

Mrs. Emma Nemm, 81, retired schoolteacher: "I'm going back to school and learn to write gangsta hip-hop lyrics."

Richard Vark, 27, Gen X founder of TravelRx.com (a Web business for people who need to be medicated to leave home): "I'll launch my dotcom with a splashy Super Bowl halftime ad about our new Arctic-Antarctic circle cruise for bipolar personalities."

Clyde Carville, 42, catfish hunter: "I'm finally going to buy my wife that new home she has always dreamed of-the one without the wheels underneath."

Celia Incement, 36, Teamster: "I'm going to invest the dough in my rig and never let those conniving bankers and bloodsucking stock jockeys get a taste of it."

Grace E. Mansion, 68, socialite: "I will contribute a portion of the money to the Uplift Foundation, which provides needed cosmetic surgery to indigent women."

Haile X. Plosiff, 38, Ethiopian ex-postal worker: "I'm going to fly back home first-class and catch up with some of my old work pals, and especially my supervisor."

Pat Ondaback, 26, stockbroker: "I'm going to double this little nest egg, Reg, by day trading uncovered options on tech stocks."

Dr. Ray O'Vac, 46, neurosurgeon: "Now I don't have to apply for financial aid for my two kids to go to college."

Each episode is cram-packed with suspense, as the advisors struggle against the challenges. The first challenge is finding the prospect when direct mail probably won't work. The second is Celia Incement's unregistered .44-caliber Magnum. Other hurdles from the pilot episode:

One of the nouveau millionaires is lunching at the Helmsley Palace tearoom. Advisor No. 2 valiantly flags a taxi to rush over and introduce himself, only to find you always wind up at the Port Authority Bus Terminal if you can't speak Arabic.

As Advisor No. 4 comes down the subway stairs, he spots a millionaire about to board a train. The line at the token booth is huge. In desperation, he pays a bag lady $20 for a token, only to find it is inscribed with a picture of a mouse and the words "Chuck E Cheese."

Advisor No. 1 spots Grace E. Mansion strolling on Central Park South in her full-length mink. He begins his pitch, when a Friends of Animals SWAT team helicopter puts down. Does he reschedule the meeting or sacrifice himself to the jihad?!!

Advisor No. 3 accidentally takes a train to Staten Island. Does he sell all his remaining e-Bay stock to pay the Verrazano Bridge toll, or does he stay there?

Once a prospect is corralled, it's time to apply the insightful lessons learned from Nick Murray and, to a lesser extent, life. Subtle psychological persuasion and well-placed SMEARs are keys to survival. Here is some sample dialogue from the pilot: "Oh yes, Mrs. Nemm, I am familiar with the portfolio allocation he suggested. I studied it at Harvard in a doctoral course on Asian finance-it was called the Kamikaze Method." Or, "I have heard of his firm-I think I saw his flier in the post office." Or, "Ignore the food-stock recommendation; you can never go wrong with a West Coast utility." Or, "Didn't he do a real estate deal in Cairo? I remember one of his former clients saying something about a pyramid." Or, "His recommendations are OK, if you want to gamble with dotcoms. I prefer proven tech companies-like Lucent."

I am taking applications from financial advisors who want to be on the first show. Send me an e-mail with your qualifications if you are interested. (Include a photo because there may be some discreet nudity introduced in later episodes, depending on our initial Nielsen's.)

By the way, if SMEAR succeeds, I have a sequel planned. It's another "adaptation" of a proven format-the courtroom/judge show, a la "People's Court." To sell the pilot, I'll need a good "judge" to host the show. I'm shooting for Bill Clinton, even though I hear he is trying to convince Hillary to go on another show with him-"Temptation Island." Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I suspect that the right combination of compensation and, well, perks, will do the trick. Each week, infamous personalities will come on the show and plead their case. I already have letters out to Muammar Qaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic and Idi Amin. (For some reason, the Marc Rich letter was returned unopened.) I have tentatively named the show either "I Beg Your Pardon" or "Blubber to Bubba." The judge hears each appeal and grants relief based on the merits ... or whatever. He may also require that appropriate restitution be paid to the injured parties-which in many cases may prove to be the DNC, a selected junior senator from a large-population state in which another blockbuster new show is set or the senator's brother.

Wish me luck. And don't forget to e-mail ([email protected]) if you want to be a contestant. (Wow, I've already got an urgent e-mail coming in ... it's from Mike Milken. Wait ... he's not a financial advisor?! I wonder what he has on his mind?)

Keith D. Allaire is a contributing editor for Financial Advisor.