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Old 10-31-2016, 11:07 PM   #1
Terri
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Question Acts in Comedy Scripts? How many? Necessary?

For a standard TV Comedy series, how many acts are in the script?
I think it's 2:

Teaser
Act 1
Act 2

If it is 2 acts, which act should be longer? Or should they be about equal?

Also, do I have to have acts? One of my TV comedy scripts is very different from your standard TV comedy (or I think it is).... would it be a huge No No to not include any acts and just write it like a feature script?

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Old 11-01-2016, 05:13 AM   #2
KitchonaSteve
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Default Re: Acts in Comedy Scripts? How many? Necessary?

Most sitcoms these days are three acts with a cold open (teaser). If you're writing a streaming or premium cable type series then you can ignore acts.

You can read a bunch of scripts at the Google Script Archive. You can take a look at a few scripts similar to the one you're working on if you want to get a sense of what the norms are.

HTH,
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Last edited by KitchonaSteve : 11-01-2016 at 05:18 AM. Reason: add link.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:05 PM   #3
Terri
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Default Re: Acts in Comedy Scripts? How many? Necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KitchonaSteve View Post
Most sitcoms these days are three acts with a cold open (teaser). If you're writing a streaming or premium cable type series then you can ignore acts.

You can read a bunch of scripts at the Google Script Archive. You can take a look at a few scripts similar to the one you're working on if you want to get a sense of what the norms are.

HTH,

Thanks Steve!
(Yeah, I'm writing for a streaming series.... hopefully, that is)
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:24 AM   #4
Zodraz
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Default Re: Acts in Comedy Scripts? How many? Necessary?

Multicams are often just two acts.

Single cams are usually three acts, though live-action Fox sitcoms are typically four shorter acts.

But the main thing to keep in mind is that, if you decide to have acts, you need to make sure you have strong/funny act-outs-- not having those is one of the most common script criticisms I see (whereas I've never seen any reader complain "there are too few/many acts").
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Acts in Comedy Scripts? How many? Necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zodraz View Post
Multicams are often just two acts.
Often with a COLD OPEN and a TAG. Unfortunately the days of straight two-act sitcoms are long gone. Too many commercials, not enough time.
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Acts in Comedy Scripts? How many? Necessary?

Breaking Bad pilot had teaser and four acts if you're interested.
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