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Old 10-05-2019, 03:37 PM   #11
Vango
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Default Re: Sitcom Pilot: Origin or Episode 2.5?

Comedies are sometimes episodic, not serialized, so perhaps that's what they are referring to Opie?
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:22 PM   #12
opie
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Default Re: Sitcom Pilot: Origin or Episode 2.5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vango View Post
Comedies are sometimes episodic, not serialized, so perhaps that's what they are referring to Opie?
You win. Confirmed. Thanks for your help. Now, to figure out which one I'm really writing.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:34 PM   #13
finalact4
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Default Re: Sitcom Pilot: Origin or Episode 2.5?

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Thanks for responses. The question stems from a 2017 article in Vulture (Pilot Script Checklist) that includes: "Try not to start on day one of anything. You’ll hear the note over and over 'Start with episode 2, midstream.'”

So I'm trying to determine from people that know the current state of affairs in the business if this is accurate today.
I've listened to a lot of podcasts for managers and everyone of them said, "original pilot." A few of them suggest making it, so that's it's so unique that even though it might never get produced (or is produceable) it can, if good enough, get you work for years.

The chances of getting a pilot sold is really tough, not impossible, but tough. I think, pushing the envelope in a TV pilot is the best. I'm not sure why you'd want to start with episode two or three, doesn't make sense to me since the pilot is what sets the stage for everything that follows.

It has to be killer. And it has to start at the beginning, not on episode two. If it's episodic, like SVU, the pilot represents THE "franchise" which is, in this example, a one our show where a crime and and investigations happens in the first half hour, then the second half hour is the court case which resolves that specific crime for the show that week.

Scandal's franchise is that every episode is about someone who needs something fixed (A story). Then the the subplot of Pope and POTUS develops in each episode (B-Story). Then there is usually a third personal line of one of the other characters (C-Story). Showing this "franchise" in the first episode tells the audience that this will be what happens in every episode. Now when we enter the pilot, Pope and POTUS are ALREADY having the affair, so the B-Story doesn't start on Day 1. But every episode's A-Story starts on the absolute worst day for the A-Story. See what I mean?

Grey's Anatomy does the same format and we see it in the pilot episode. Each week the team of interns face a new medical challenge (A-Story). Then the personal line of the main character Dr. Grey and her secret that she's taking care of her famous surgeon mother who is facing the onset of Alzheimer's (B-Story). Then there's usually a third line that is a personal challenge for one of the main five or so characters (C-Story). The pilot sets up the format for every episode that follows. It sets the audience expectation and says, "this is WHAT you can expect every week."

LOST is a premise pilot which works so well. The actual initing incident happen off camera and we arrive at the very latest moment possible-- when EVERY character realizes they just survived a plane crash and they are all LOST together.

But imagine if that happened on episode two? Makes no sense to me. Start as late as possible.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:10 PM   #14
opie
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Default Re: Sitcom Pilot: Origin or Episode 2.5?

Thanks for the thoughts and the one hour drama breakdowns. What I found out from the former agent is that the sitcom pilot often takes an episode two approach for episodic sitcoms (not serial in nature). Parks and Rec, for example.

Last edited by opie : 10-06-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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