Yeppers, we know that PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018 has closed for entries, but there are things everybody who wants to get a new show going should know, not only for contest purposes but for real-world showbiz as well.
The in and outs of pitching a new TV show definitely are among them, so:
Let’s talk about how to pitch a TV show so you can become a TV writer.
We’ll compare how to pitch a TV show to how to pitch a movie and look at TV pitch examples.
We’ll also consider the “problem of originality” and learn a process for developing a TV pitch.
How To Pitch A TV Show – Overview
The key to learning how to pitch a TV show is the same as learning how to pitch a feature film.
You need to have a strong core concept.
That’s no surprise, but I want to be clear about this before we move on to the granular details of how to pitch a TV show.
How To Know If Your Core Concept Is Strong
In my experience, the best way to assess the strength of your core concept is to look for patterns in the feedback from potential audience members and at least one Hollywood pro.
In other words, your concept is strong when:
- You have given the verbal pitch for your TV show to at least ten people in your target audience and they respond positively to your pitch.
- You have submitted your one-sheet for coverage from a professional reader and received a Recommend.
Does Your Core Concept Resonate With The Audience?
To me, learning how to pitch a TV show requires actually pitching your TV show and finding out if it resonates with your audience (and with at least one pro reader).
Don’t worry about the pilot episode, casting, locations, or even future seasons.
Get the concept right first.
What Is A TV Concept?
Learning how to pitch a TV show means understanding what makes a TV concept different from a movie concept.
Here’s a short pitch template for a movie:
“My story is a (genre) called (title) about (hero) who wants (goal) despite (obstacle).”
I like this formula because it forces clarification of the central conflict. Typically, a story that is clear can be framed in terms of an entity (the hero) that is seeking something (the goal) despite some significant problem (the obstacle).
For a TV pitch, however, you need to add four elements – three are visible and one is invisible….