Literary Death Match is ready for its close-up. The acclaimed reading series presents LDM TV: The Pilot at with a slew of special guests, including judges Michael C. Hall, Tig Notaro, Keegan-Michael Key, Jonathan Lethem, plus readers Susan Orlean, Simon Rich, Beau Sia and Jeanne Darst. LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga explains.

So you're pitching Literary Death Match to the networks. Do you have a handy slogan to describe the show to these execs?

We'll stick with the usual “four authors, three all-star judges, two rounds and one epic finale” but pitchwise, it really comes down to: There's a reality TV show for everything on the planet — from cooking to picking apart abandoned storage lockers — but not the books? When everyone on the planet is a writer these days? Well, we have just the show for you.

What would be your ideal lead-in show?

Louie. That show showcases everything ours does, but with more Louis C.K. in it: smart, honest, strange, surreal and ultimately, exhilaratingly life-affirming. Alternately, Mad Men, after all that quiet suspense and subtlety (the release of a Pin the Mustache on Hemingway finale is the planet's greatest release) or <>Parks & Recreation for those who want to be triply charmed after being triply charmed.

Do TV executives read literature?

They must! And if they don't, our show's perfect for them. People are busy bees these days — and often “super-busy” — so our show delivers a lit- and comedy-filled 30 minutes that allows everyone to taste-test four brilliant authors, then wander out to parties and knowledgeably discuss how great the book is that someone else was reading. All the lit, in a 15th of the time!

For people who've never seen LDM, please fill in the blank:

If you're a fan of madcap/fun-timey/smart-but-not-pretentious hilaritainment, you'll love Literary Death Match.

Wed., Dec. 12, 8:30 & 9:30 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly