Writing TV

A Letter from WGA President Patric Verone…

Hey, folks– Hot off the press, here’s a letter from WGA president Patric Verone… thought you might find it interesting… May 29, 2009              To My Fellow Members, It’s been a while since I’ve reported to you about the progress of Writers Guild organizing efforts and the many...

Sell Your Movie or TV Show… and Say Hello… at Pitchfest!

Hey, everyone– Just wanted to invite you all to next month’s annual Great American PitchFest, where I’ll be speaking and doing pitch and project consultations. For those of you who haven’t been to PitchFest, it’s a two-day festival where writers, producers, directors, and other filmmakers can take classes, network, and pitch...

FOX & the NY TV Festival – Comedy Pilot Contest!

Hey, all– Thanks to Erica for letting me know re: the upcoming deadline for the 2nd Annual Comedy Script Contest from the New York TV Festival and FOX!  This is a pretty reputable festival, and quickly becoming a destination for TV networks, studios, and producers! Click HERE for all the details…...

SHARLA'S QUESTION: Are web scripts useful writing samples?

Hey, folks— Today’s reader question comes from Sharla.  First of all, I have to say—Sharla, MAJOR THANKS for your super-nice comments on Small Screen, Big Picture!  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it… and I’m glad you found it helpful! As for your question… here it is: “I’ve been...

GINA'S QUESTION: Why don't playwrights and novelists get rewritten?

Today’s reader question comes from Gina, who writes: “I noticed that screenplays are always rewritten by many different writers but that would never happen to a playwright or novelist.  Why the double standard?  But, then again, that is how screenwriter’s will make their money on rewriting someone else’s screenplay.” Well, Gina, screenplays...

Upcoming Writing Program Deadlines

Huge thanks to Jen Grisanti— and her awesome monthly newsletter– for compiling this great list of deadlines for upcoming network and studio writing programs.  For all those applying– GOOD LUCK! WRITING PROGRAMS AND DEADLINES FOR TV WRITERS NBC – Writers on the VergeThis is a 10-week program focused on polishing writers’...

Pitch Your Idea to Producers & Agents… Next Tuesday!

Hey, guys– Huge thanks to everyone who came to last night’s pilot-writing seminar at mediabistro… it was a terrific turnout, and I really appreciate everyone coming and being so interested! For those of you who couldn’t make it… or those of you who have actual TV show ideas you’d like to...

Write Your Pilot… and Sell It– THIS MONTH!

Hey, all– Just wanted to let you all know… I’m teaching my “Pilot Writing” course for Mediabistro again this month, and if you’re in L.A., I’d love to see you all there!  This seminar is a blast… it’s one of my favorite classes to teach… and you’ll learn everything you need...

A Special Message from the WGA

Hey, everyone– David Young, Executive Director of the Writers Guild West, just sent this email to members.  It’s got some great updates and information on what’s happened in the months since last year’s writers strike… thought you’d find it interesting and informative (also, it copies and pastes funny, so my apologies...

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Know Your Pilots

Hey, everyone– It’s January/February, which– in television land– means only thing: PILOT SEASON.  (I know all the networks keep crowing that they’re doing “year-round development,” and while that’s kinda true– to a certain degree– the old development/pilot/staffing seasons are still very much in effect.  Personally, I don’t think the networks will...

READER QUESTION: How Do I Spec a Serialized Show like "Damages?"

Today’s reader question comes from Chuck, who asks…“I love ‘Damages’, the show.  How would you spec a show like Damages when the entire season is one long arc – like one long movie?  Same as ’24.’  Is that possible?” Well, Chuck, the short (and unfortunate) answer is: I probably wouldn’t spec...

PITCH WORKSHOP: Wendy's feedback (Entry #9)

I wanted to take today to respond to Wendy’s sitcom idea, “Three-Two-One,” which she submitted to the pitch workshop last month.  First of all—Wendy, thanks so much for submitting this!  And another huge thanks to everyone who posted a comment!   For those of you just coming to the party, here’s...

Breaking into Television: My Interview with Alex Epstein

Hey, folks– Just wanted to point you to an interview I recently did with Alex Epstein, TV writer and author of Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box and Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made.  Alex writes the “Complications Ensue” blog, which– if you’re not already reading it– is a...

PITCH WORKSHOP: CC's Feedback (Entry #8)

Hey, folks— I wanted to spend today responding to CC’s Pitch Workshop submission for her one-hour TV dramedy, Sarah Weekly. First of all—thanks again to CC for submitting to this!  Whether you’re pitching Steven Spielberg, a low-level TV exec, or just looking for critical feedback, it’s never easy putting your ideas...

PITCH WORKSHOP: Entry #9

Today’s Pitch Workshop submission comes from Wendy, who sends in a synopsis of her sitcom idea, Three-Two-One, to get some feedback from all you readers out there… Think Sex in the City meets Weight Watchers; this sitcom cold opens each week with Emma, an extra curvy redhead, Mandy a philosophical dumb blonde,...

TV Interview… and a Book Excerpt

Hey, guys– Just wanted to point you to an interview I did last week with Mediabistro… we talked about everything from breaking into television and producing your first show to how the Internet is changing TV and what the economy has in store. They also printed an excerpt from my TV...

How It Feels To Get Canceled

Hey, everyone— Some sad news (“sad” being relative, so bear with me)… Reality Binge, the Fox Reality Channel sketch/clip/variety show I’d be writing on for the past 8 months, was canceled this week.  We’ll finish out our final two episodes, and the finale will air on Thursday, December 18.   So...

Best Book Recommendation EVER!

Hey, everyone– I’m super-psyched to announce that my new (and first) book, Small Screen, Big Picture: A Writer’s Guide to the TV Business (which officially comes out November 25), is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble! The book is a user-friendly “business guide” for aspiring TV...

Letter from the WGA: Ozzy Doesn't Rock

Hey, everyone– You may have heard this news, which broke yesterday afternoon, but the Writers Guild of America is going to head with Ozzy Osbourne‘s new FOX variety show, The Osbournes: Loud and Dangerous, for refusing to pay its writers standard wages or agree to a union contract.  Yesterday afternoon, WGA...