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Old 09-13-2015, 10:41 AM   #1
cvolante
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Default Half hour drama??

I just wrote a half hour drama pilot. Do these exist, or should I work to make it a one hour thing?
It's about a teenager, so somehow that makes me feel it could be half hour, but all the shows that it's like are one hour shows.

I have written pilots before. Both were one-hour and had decent structure - one was a semi-finalist in Page. So I know generally what it should be -- but somehow I ended up writing this and feeling like it could work. Thoughts?
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
Zodraz
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Default Re: half hour drama??

If you're primarily interested in trying to sell it to a pay cable network or streaming site, than it's probably fine.

But if you also want to use it to get staffed, having a half-hour drama is not very useful because there aren't that many staffing opportunities (especially since dramedies tend to have smaller staffs).

So in that case I would suggest extending it to an hour--or perhaps create two versions, one for selling, one for staffing.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
EnsconcedinVelvet
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Default Re: half hour drama??

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvolante View Post
I just wrote a half hour drama pilot. Do these exist, or should I work to make it a one hour thing?
It's about a teenager, so somehow that makes me feel it could be half hour, but all the shows that it's like are one hour shows.

I have written pilots before. Both were one-hour and had decent structure - one was a semi-finalist in Page. So I know generally what it should be -- but somehow I ended up writing this and feeling like it could work. Thoughts?
I have something like this too. The consensus is that I need to add a little more humor (it's pretty melancholy) if I want to keep the half-hour structure. But a few people have felt it could work on, like, HBO.

I'm a new writer so take this with a grain of salt, but I think networks get more bang for their buck financially from one-hour shows.

On the other hand I keep expecting half-hour dramas to suddenly become a big thing and then I'll be pissed that I didn't stick to my original plan. I'm finishing up another half-hour comedy pilot and then I'm going to go back to the half-hour drama and see if I can expand it to an hour. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: half hour drama??

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Originally Posted by EnsconcedinVelvet View Post
I have something like this too. The consensus is that I need to add a little more humor (it's pretty melancholy) if I want to keep the half-hour structure. But a few people have felt it could work on, like, HBO.

I'm a new writer so take this with a grain of salt, but I think networks get more bang for their buck financially from one-hour shows.

On the other hand I keep expecting half-hour dramas to suddenly become a big thing and then I'll be pissed that I didn't stick to my original plan. I'm finishing up another half-hour comedy pilot and then I'm going to go back to the half-hour drama and see if I can expand it to an hour. Good luck to you!
HBO had a couple of these a while ago. There was "Hung" and "How To Make It In America," neither of which really caught fire.

That said, you should go with your gut. If you feel like the material works best as a half-hour drama, stick to your guns. Seems like you have a realistic idea about the difficulties you may encounter trying to move forward with it.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:21 PM   #5
cvolante
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Default Re: half hour drama??

Thanks for your thoughtful responses.
I'm gonna let it sit a bit and then see what I think after some distance.
It probably should be a one hour.
Thanks again.

Last edited by cvolante : 09-13-2015 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: half hour drama??

Weeds and Entourage, as well, no?
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Half hour drama??

If it's a show for and about teens then it might be a candidate for MTV. AWKWARD was a dramedy, but seemed to fall more on the comedy side.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Half hour drama??

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvolante View Post
I just wrote a half hour drama pilot. Do these exist, or should I work to make it a one hour thing?
It's about a teenager, so somehow that makes me feel it could be half hour, but all the shows that it's like are one hour shows.

I have written pilots before. Both were one-hour and had decent structure - one was a semi-finalist in Page. So I know generally what it should be -- but somehow I ended up writing this and feeling like it could work. Thoughts?
Prior to the early 1960s, half-hour dramas were the norm on American TV.
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