Television Proposal: Nimble Jane

by Alison O’Connor

The children’s television program I would like to propose is an animated adventure series about a very gifted young acrobat who would be about fifteen years old, named Janelle Mayes, who, as she has entered adolescence, discovered that, in addition to her prodigious talent, she has super-human strength and speed. Janelle would then become an accomplished superhero, fighting crime and battling against evil and their various villains in the Chicago area. Her alter-ego would be ‘Jane Nimble’, and she would wear a sleek black jumpsuit with a white cowl and belt and boots, fitted to her body and allowing for all possible movement. No lightning bolts, because that is much too cliché.

I also propose that Janelle be a woman of color, as there is such little representation among children’s adventure series of non-white heroes and heroines.Janelle will also not have a perfectly slender body, but one with a somewhat muscular build, as she is an athlete. She will not be slimmed down, like most other mainstream heroines, but given a body that will suit her immense athletic abilities, those both known and unknown, in and out of superhero guise.

Janelle, like most other teenaged heroes, will attend high school and go about life-as-usual by day, work a part-time job at a sports-equipment store, return home to her parents and do chores and get her homework done. She will have a few average friends that she will converse with and hang out with outside and inside of school. She will not be invested in romance or romantic relationships, since those tend to be overdone in such adventure series, but after the first few seasons, there might be room to introduce a love interest. Janelle will live with her mother, father and kid sister, all of whom are oblivious to exactly how powerful Janelle really is, though she is the family’s prized athlete and prize-winner. By night, after all of Janelle’s homework is done, she will dress in her superhero costume, exit by second-story window and venture out into the city to solve whatever crime is taking place. Her little sister suspects that Janelle might be the mysterious Jane Nimble all over the news, solving crime, but she is smart and loyal enough to keep her mouth shut.

Janelle’s mother is a police officer, so Janelle has managed to get the news of all of the crimes taking place through a police-radio she obtained secretly while touring the station, of all of the destruction being brought down upon downtown Chicago by several of the super-villains the series will introduce over the course of each season. As the story develops, Janelle’s mother will catch on to what her daughter is doing, and eventually, further along, Janelle and her mom will work hand in hand, her mother giving her the play-by-play of events taking place in terms of which rogue is attacking which part of Chicago at each time.

Within each episode of Jane Nimble, Janelle will battle a series of recurring villains, with a few episodes leading up towards a much bigger battle with a much more powerful foe. The face-offs with these villains will still be PG, there will be some blood, there will be bruises and batterings, but Janelle will always come out on top, and the villain will always be defeated, or will disappear for a while only to return at a later time in the show. It won’t always be as simple as Janelle-fights-villain-Janelle-emerges-victorious, as sometimes the conflicts will stretch into two or three episodes at a time. The conflicts will be just so gritty so that they can be taken seriously and believed, but not so serious as to transcend a PG rating. Good always triumphs over evil in a kid’s show, and that rule will certainly be honored throughout Jane Nimble.

An average episode of Jane Nimble will be twenty minutes long, with commercial breaks in between intervals. The set up and sometimes a recap will take place in the first part of the show as well as the introduction of a new or recurring conflict, which Janelle will step out at night, in costume as Jane Nimble to battle the foe. The episode will end with a clear resolution, the bad guy for the moment vanquished or jailed, brought to justice either way. To close each episode, there will, of course, be a: On The Next Episode of Jane Nimble… sneak preview introducing the next conflict Janelle will face, the next battle, either at school, home or fighting crime as that might be.

The animation for the show will be hand-drawn, absolutely no stop-motion or 3D,and will be carefully crafted in a style similar to that of the older Warner Brothers Batman and Justice League cartoons, though slightly more cartoonish, so as to appeal to broader range of ages, the younger kids as well as those of pre-teenage. The animation will be carefull rendered and crafted, while also not at a price too steep to keep up with the costs of writing and animating an episode of the series.

I seriously hope you consider Janelle Mayes/ Jane Nimble, and her heroic journey, adventures and story as a wonderful and exciting new concept for a children’s TV series, as this is an exciting and promising new way to introduce new representation for the different races and ethnicities that make up the audiences of children’s TV series, and to also provide action-packed entertainment and adventure with each new segment and development of Jane Nimble. Please take this into your utmost consideration. 

Back to Bozo Premiers on WGN