How Do Single-Cam TV Shows Differ From Multi-Cam Ones?


Television shows are often referred to as being single-cam or multi-cam.  This directly relates to the style of filming. Back in the day when TV production was more straightforward, mutli-cam referred to 30-minute sitcoms and single-cam to hour-long dramas. This general rule of thumb isn’t always the case any longer. It most closely correlates with…

Creating The Perfect Non-Traditional Network TV Show


Scripted TV is heading into edgy mainstream territory. Indie commercial. Conservative radical. As with every industry of the day, DISRUPTION is the current industry paradigm. With a mature TV marketplace, audiences are growing tired of rehashed stories, characters and situations. They are less inclined to accept the status quo, but not quite ready to embrace the…

Creating The 1 Hour Crime TV Drama


Jennifer Dornbush discusses some parameters to consider when writing a crime drama for both film and TV. TONE Is is a straightforward procedural, comical, grizzly, shocking, exciting, dark, underground, hostile, quirky? SETTING Is it a workplace, street beat? Where does most of the crime solving take place? In a lab, farm, factory, store, mansion? ARENA…

Climbing The TV Writer Ladder


The path to being a produced TV writer is a peculiar one. Some writers can languish in the realms of writers assistant for years, while others can become a TV showrunner just as fast. TV broadcast networks tend to have a more rigid structure, while the newer TV cable and streaming platforms are more fluid….

How To Write A TV Pilot Script


Do you want to write for television? You can start by writing a TV script. It can either be for an existing TV show or your original idea. Writing TV scripts for existing shows are only used as samples and for submissions to contests and TV writers workshops or fellowships. TV writers should never try…

Steer Your Screenwriting Career


I recently met career coach, Jessica Sitomer at The Great American Pitchfest who spoke about becoming informed and strategizing your career. Firstly research your field of interest. If it’s feature films, find out who’s selling, who’s buying and what genres. If you’re a TV writer,  what is on air/off air, what has been picked up for…

TV Writing Staffing and Development Calendar – 2011


Feb. – May: Executives read scripts and take “staffing meetings” with agents and managers for network shows. Late May: Upfronts (when networks show off their new shows to entice advertisers to commit to buy commercial airtime “up front”, months before the shows’ premieres), pilots are picked up to series, staff is put in place. June:…

The Current TV Writing Landscape


Given the lamentable state of the feature film spec script market, the relative certainty of the TV market is a viable option for screenwriters. How do you get a gig writing for TV? Keep writing and build up a body of work that can serve as spec scripts. Contact your favorite TV shows and ask…

Diet Paypackets for TV Writers


TV executives are beaming at their handsome 8-10% increases in advertising revenue this year, reports Variety magazine. Unfortunately, salaries for TV writers have at best stagnated, or in some cases, even fallen. Writers are still reeling from the knock-on effects of the WGA strike and the protracted recession. Although scripted TV has bounced back thanks…