Across Maine, you can hear the refrain: “Summah’s ovah.” Once again, we treated myriad tourists to our American idyll, hoping they didn’t notice all those sundry taxes. Not to worry, folks, those views of the rocky coast are free for now.

But what about all those Americans who didn’t come to Maine this summer? Chances are, their experience was limited to that Sept. 8 Travel Channel episode of “Man v. Food,” featuring host Adam Richman as he visited a southern Maine eatery for the Manimal Challenge.

Richman’s task included eating an eight-patty cheeseburger, which begs the question: What happened to that vaunted, over-the-top grail of gluttony called the triple cheeseburger? (I guess culture is expanding at the speed of light, thus explaining how I missed the four-, five-, six-, and seven-patty burgers.)

But any publicity for Maine is good publicity, I suppose. To wit — the resurgence of New York’s Coney Island, which has benefited mightily from the Coney Island Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Every summer, ESPN broadcasts the event to a national audience. It has also made a star out of Joey Chestnut, the reigning, four-time champion. It’s possible an HBO biopic is already in the works: “Ka-Ching — the Joey Chestnut Story.”

Extrapolating from that, it seems Maine ought to take a page or two from the Coney Island-Nathan’s Hot Dog saga, and thus lure more media to our eager shores. To that end, I hereby submit for your perusal a few ideas for some Maine-based TV shows.

“Maine Malling” — Take 100 typical Maine teenagers, put ’em in the Maine Mall, and roll video as they sit around and text all of their friends who are not there. They don’t shop, they don’t eat, they don’t talk. They jst txt.

“Manimal Challenge II” — Think “The Truman Show” meets “Survivor” meets “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” For this reality-based drama, we bring in Joey Chestnut, a 24/7 camera crew, and put everybody on a small, Maine island. Joey’s challenge is a race against the clock to consume a life-size, 220-pound lobster salad replica of Joey Chestnut!

Critics will rave: “Verges on the existential.”

“Noisy Shores” — Riffing off that Jersey (rhymes with Boise) trendsetter, young adults in Down East Maine channel their Snooki vibe at a Grange hall bean supper fundraiser to save the piping plover. Meanwhile, holier-than-thou commentators “from away” make snarky comments about “the way life ought to be.”

“Just Say No!” — Looks like the standard screed about drugs and Republicans, right? Wrong. “Just Say No!” is a sendup of today’s real naysayers and neo-nihilists: the radical greenies. This show chronicles their ironic love-hate relationship with alternative energy. No nukes! No windmills! No tidal turbines to sully our seas!

The first episode is a prequel that takes place on Maine’s Kibby Mountain — and I’m not making this part up — as EarthFirst!ers blockade trucks that are actually building an alternative to fossil fuels. For the obligatory sexy angle, each show has scantily-clad eco-terroristas taking part in crude oil wrestling contests. “Crude oil or crude wrestling?” you ask. Hey, you gotta watch.

“Greatest Race, Maine Edition” — Our contestants, engaged in an Ogunquit-to-Fort Kent race, are forced to rely on the locals for directions. Whenever they can’t understand that thick Maine accent or end up on a logging road, they have to chug a shot of Moxie.

“Turn the Page” — This is a show for and about Maine journalists, as they try to dismantle the gubernatorial campaign of Paul LePage by poking fun at the down-home mannerisms and rough-hewn persona that have made him a favorite among voters.

At the end of each show, the journalists form a circle and throw tomatoes at the candidate.

However, since each of them throws like a journalist, they just end up splattering each other.

Must-see TV? You betcha.


Roger McCord, a Cumberland resident, is a copy editor for The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.