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View Full Version : Pitching a story for a TV show


socalwriter1
05-22-2009, 06:21 PM
I have an idea for a current show and would like to write a spec script if I get any encouragement from the show.

But evidently, I can't contact the producer because it's illegal for him to read a spec script for his show, can't contact the showrunner because he has the internal writers to get ideas from, can't contact the stars because they only accept stuff from their agents and most agents won't listen to newbies.

So, any ideas?

Small side point, why does this forum stop at the first page? Nothing older?

Chakala
05-22-2009, 06:33 PM
Seriously?

Um... why aren't you writing the spec? Why are you waiting for 'encouragement?'

jimjimgrande
05-22-2009, 08:22 PM
So, any ideas?



Google tv writer and read up at tvwriter.com - Your post shows that you don't fundamentally understand how the tv writing and production works. Do some more research.

Takezo
06-05-2009, 03:30 PM
A spec script for a fully staffed show?

Are you crazy?
Do you like to spin your wheels?

It's a closed shop dude--wrap your mind around it!

And no, it is not "illegal" for a producer to read material for a show he's producing.
WTF?! It does force him to brake a sweat though.
Don't ever ask them to do something.

Unless you are repped, have some track record of writing any kind of TV, and unless you rep has tight contacts within this show... you're just dog meat in their eyes.

Suppose a mad killer went though the writer's room at this show and snuffed half of them?! (okay this is sick thing).
But if that happend there are two dozen guys standing in line, ready, briefed on the show and with their lap-tops already open waiting to take their places.

If there is a nuclear war with China or Russia--then you may have a shot at getting on this show (LA will be ground zero).

You don't stand a chance.

If fact you stand a better chance of sucessfuly mounting a manned mission to mars, than breaking into a closed shop show.

If you hadn't noticed there are fewer and fewer scripted/written by smart people shows now! And the ones that they do make which are scripted, the show runner/producer and his team/conspirators usually glom them all up for themselves... this is because there is a tremendous amount of money involved, and they/them want it all for themselves now. Imagine Scrooge McDuck sitting atop his pile of gold and you will get the picture.

And if they do give one or two out--these go to their buddies.
This is the plain truth.

So do a spec--but on what for TV now?!
Jeeze I don't know.

I don't seen anymore movies of the week.
Okay--there's some Halmark stuff.
What else? Someone throw me a fricking bone here!

It's not like the old days where they pounded out 30 episodes of "Wagon Train" every year.

Primetime hours have been cut.
Live (scripted shows) have been cut.
Reality seems to rule.
The show runners dominate the major networks--and they're mostly closed shops.

I think a spec screenplay (for theaters) will give you more momentum.
You can make a sale, and parlay that into something else.

If I were primarily a TV writer, I'd ride my mountain bike off the end of the Santa Monica pier.

T

LIMAMA
06-05-2009, 07:14 PM
A spec script for a fully staffed show?

Are you crazy?
Do you like to spin your wheels?

It's a closed shop dude--wrap your mind around it!

And no, it is not "illegal" for a producer to read material for a show he's producing.
WTF?! It does force him to brake a sweat though.
Don't ever ask them to do something.

Unless you are repped, have some track record of writing any kind of TV, and unless you rep has tight contacts within this show... you're just dog meat in their eyes.

Suppose a mad killer went though the writer's room at this show and snuffed half of them?! (okay this is sick thing).
But if that happend there are two dozen guys standing in line, ready, briefed on the show and with their lap-tops already open waiting to take their places.

If there is a nuclear war with China or Russia--then you may have a shot at getting on this show (LA will be ground zero).

You don't stand a chance.

If fact you stand a better chance of sucessfuly mounting a manned mission to mars, than breaking into a closed shop show.

If you hadn't noticed there are fewer and fewer scripted/written by smart people shows now! And the ones that they do make which are scripted, the show runner/producer and his team/conspirators usually glom them all up for themselves... this is because there is a tremendous amount of money involved, and they/them want it all for themselves now. Imagine Scrooge McDuck sitting atop his pile of gold and you will get the picture.

And if they do give one or two out--these go to their buddies.
This is the plain truth.

So do a spec--but on what for TV now?!
Jeeze I don't know.

I don't seen anymore movies of the week.
Okay--there's some Halmark stuff.
What else? Someone throw me a fricking bone here!

It's not like the old days where they pounded out 30 episodes of "Wagon Train" every year.

Primetime hours have been cut.
Live (scripted shows) have been cut.
Reality seems to rule.
The show runners dominate the major networks--and they're mostly closed shops.

I think a spec screenplay (for theaters) will give you more momentum.
You can make a sale, and parlay that into something else.

If I were primarily a TV writer, I'd ride my mountain bike off the end of the Santa Monica pier.

T

ROTFLMAO!!!!

SoCalScribe
06-20-2009, 01:33 AM
I have an idea for a current show and would like to write a spec script if I get any encouragement from the show.

But evidently, I can't contact the producer because it's illegal for him to read a spec script for his show, can't contact the showrunner because he has the internal writers to get ideas from, can't contact the stars because they only accept stuff from their agents and most agents won't listen to newbies.

So, any ideas?

Small side point, why does this forum stop at the first page? Nothing older?


It's not illegal for someone to read a spec for their own show... the general reasoning is that these people know their show in minute detail - better than anyone else - so anything you write that's even slightly inconsistent with the canon they've created, is likely to be picked apart and your spec passed on for not "getting" the show. If you send the spec to a similar show, they don't know all the minutiae of the show, and are much more likely to look at the spec in general writing terms rather than in terms of if you've exactly captured every single nuance of the show.

If you're interested in writing for a specific television show, you're going to have an uphill battle, as has already been mentioned. Television is basically a closed shop and it's not easy to break in. But your best shot is to keep that idea for the show on the back burner and write 2-3 specs for shows that are similar to the one you really want to write for... and submit those specs to the show. Hopefully you'll impress the showrunner and producers with those specs enough to get one of the freelance episodes that are guaranteed every season... and once you get that slot, you can pitch your idea.

Hope this helps.

Charli
06-20-2009, 07:34 AM
You can write a spec for a current show to show off your ability to write for a variety of shows.

If you want your spec to get produced, you have to figure out which shows allow freelance writers.

odocoileus
06-20-2009, 11:05 AM
You can write a spec for a current show to show off your ability to write for a variety of shows.

If you want your spec to get produced, you have to figure out which shows allow freelance writers.

Pretty much none at this point.

Freelance assignments are usually given to established writers who aren't on staff at the moment.

ETA

Writer's assistant's and showrunner's assistants can also get a freelance assignment. It almost always goes to the assistant before somebody coming in from out of the blue.

NikeeGoddess
06-20-2009, 12:16 PM
here's an approach... maybe it's the back door, basement approach but i know it has worked for some and it might sound like a freaky idea but....

create your own fanfiction website for the show or maybe a few similar genre shows and write, write, write! if you're good enough you'll start getting a fan following. where the fans go, the producers lurk. if they like your style you might get a call. i've seen it happen.