View Full Version : Writing for Television...
06-28-2004, 11:11 AM
I have no idea how to write for television. Anybody have any good books and websites that have TV scripts and so forth. How many pages go into a 1 hour show? Or 30 min? If you use the "1 min=1 page" rule in film you would think it would be anywhere from 47-57 pages, but I heard Gilmore Girls is up wards of 70-80 pages. I guess they cut a lot of it out when it hits TV, but I'm still lost when it comes into writing for TV. They say money is in TV and not film....
06-28-2004, 11:32 AM
A one-hour TV script is usually 65-70 pages, divided (generally) into as many acts as there are anticipated to be commercial breaks (though every show is different).
Counterintuitively, if you're trying to write for a specific TV show (or get invited to pitch a story to one), you're better off having your agent submit a script you wrote for a different show. If you do well with that script, they may want to see what ideas you have for them.
06-28-2004, 11:36 AM
Final Draft incldues templates for televison script formatting. I'm sure you could do some Google searches to find some examples of actual scripts.
06-28-2004, 01:05 PM
What about for HBO? What do there scripts generally run at? Like Deadwood, Sopranos, etc...
try www.script-o-rama.com. Great site for film and tv scripts. Plus it offers a lot of links to other good sites.
07-06-2004, 07:29 AM
Was the HBO show Carnivale 30 min or 1 hour per episode? I just found a script for the pilot and it was 34 pages long. I could have sworn the show was an hour long. Why is this so short when a normal hour long show runs up wards of 70 pages?
07-07-2004, 11:26 AM
"Television Writing from the Inside Out: Your Channel to Success," by TV writer-producer Larry Brody, is recently out. It is an exceptional book that covers pretty much all you want to know about writing & selling television, from episodic drama to long-form cable.
07-07-2004, 11:30 AM
Thanks for that link. I just bought Successful Television Writing which is pretty good.
07-07-2004, 02:58 PM
You're welcome. And check out TVwriter.com for all sorts of related stuff.
07-14-2004, 03:01 AM
There are many books containing properly formatted fascimiles of tv scripts, including a series of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" script books, a "Sopranos" script book, and others.
The Buffy ones I know for sure contain exact duplicates of the actual scripts, unlike other script books that simply reprint the script in some other pseudo-screenplay or teleplay format.
That should give you an idea of act breaks and page counts. Final Draft and Movie Magic also include various tv show templates.