Structure Of TV Shows

Scripted TV shows are generally categorized into drama and comedy. The key divider is length. Comedies are half hour and dramas are usually a full hour long.


Family, workplace, romantic and urban tribe.

They are either multi-cam or single cam. Multi-cam comedies are shot on a sound stage, in chronological order in one session. They are like filmed stage plays; a joke machine. Scripts are double spaced.

Single cam comedies are more like mini-movies. There are more location shots, they are shot over a week or so and non-sequentially. They are more observational and character-driven. Scripts are single spaced.


Procedurals (crime, legal, medical) and soap. Procedurals are closed ended standalone shows based on a situation, place or characters. Soaps are open ended TV shows, with stories often spanning several episodes. They are more concerned with character relationships.


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