Alex and Nick welcome Francesca Butler and Kelly Lynne D’Angelo to discuss diversity and representation in television — both on screen and in the writers’ room.
What has been their personal experience working in TV? What shows influenced them growing up? What are they thoughts on diversity staffing and writing programs?

The Paper Team hands the mic over for some thought-provoking insight…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – Influences growing up (00:33)
2 – Cultural appropriation and experiences being in the writers’ room (11:59)
3 – Diversity staffing and the writing programs (24:58)
4 – WGA’s Diversity Committees & Caucuses (33:11)
5 – Moving forward, selling yourself and recommended shows (36:12)

Links

Francesca Butler on Twitter
Kelly Lynne D’Angelo on Twitter
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
The Patriot
Hamilton
All That
Roundhouse
The West Wing
American Dreams
Living Single
Angela Moore (from Boy Meets World)
The Journey of Allen Strange
The Meteor Man
Hollywood Shuffle
“Shapes” (1×19 – The X-Files)
Thunderbird House (from Harry Potter)
Jacqueline White (from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Sundance Institute/IAIA’s Native Writer’s Workshop
LA Skins Fest’s Native American TV Writers Lab
“TV Diversity Programs: Launching Pad or Scarlet Letter?”
WGAW Diversity Committees
A Different World
The Flash and Supergirl’s Musical Crossover
Insecure
Being Mary Jane
Greenleaf
The Son

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick discuss the basics of television pitching. From the cold pitch all the way to the general meeting and official “sales pitch”, we give an overview of the three major arenas where you’ll be presenting your TV show. This episode is all about understanding who, what, why, and some dos & don’ts for each step.

Who will you be meeting with? Where will you be doing each pitch? What is the goal of TV pitching? What absolutely needs to be included in your pitch? Is paying for pitch competitions ever worth it?

The Paper Team has a riveting audio presentation on the subject…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What TV pitching means (00:45)
2 – The cold or “casual” pitch (02:24)
3 – The general meeting pitch (17:49)
4 – The sales or official “pitch meeting” (27:16)
5 – Some general advice for your TV pitch (29:22)
Takeaways and Resources (35:13)

Resources

“Buy the Rights” Card Game
Dan Harmon on Pitching (Video)
What’s Your Pitch? ATX Panel (Audio)

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick are joined by comedy writer Kelly Lynne D’Angelo to discuss what it’s like to be in a TV writing team (with Nick himself).

We talk about their creative and writing process, how they pitch in a writers’ room, how they present themselves in general meetings, how they complete each other, and the benefits (or drawbacks) of being in a writing team over being a solo writer.

Plus, we finally explain what a “paper team” is! (Not something the WGA likes.)

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – The creative process of a writing team (00:36)
2 – Dealing with writing rooms and the business side (21:23)
3 – Resources, how to start a writing team, and who to choose as a partner (39:49)

Links

Kelly Lynne D’Angelo on Twitter
South Park 20 Experience at the Paley Center for Media
“My Life in Four Cameras” (4×17 – Scrubs)
WriterDuet
Settlers of Catan

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Longtime friends of TV Calling will know my deep love for Star Trek.
In fact, you might remember I even wrote a spec pilot for a new Trek series not too long ago (yes I’m still talking about it).

There are too many “think-pieces” to count today, so instead of writing yet another one to compete, I’ll simply bring up several of my favorite articles about the show. Both from my own website archives and other people’s, as well as list my Top 50 episodes from the entire franchise.

As mentioned, I wrote three years ago Star Trek: Terran, a spec pilot for a new Trek series.
(This was during the dark ages, when a new “official” series seemed but a dream.)

In that time, I also wrote about what Star Trek has meant to me, and why I believed we needed–and still need–a true Star Trek series: “Why Star Trek?” – The State of an Enduring Franchise.

One of the most interesting trait of the genre has always been that it could serve as an echo of reality. And the world desperately needs a reflection of itself.
You could make a pretty long list of contemporary issues that are begging to be explored (surveillance, social class, role of government, etc.). These are issues that would still be prevalent within the Trek-verse. In fact, the franchise has always been great at taking on societal and moral issues throughout its series (some more contemporary than others).
Even more importantly, Star Trek endures because it always has been forward-looking.
Star Trek stands for hope. Reaching for the sky and going where no one has gone before. It is sending a positive outlook about people. A better humanity, united, and equal. We need Star Trek on TV to inspire society, but also a new generation, people growing up to be explorers in their fields. This is about believing in a better future and striving to better ourselves.

Star Trek has done so much for people around the world, and television itself–not the least of which is coining the term “Bottle Episode.”
Earlier this week, I discussed on Paper Team what I consider to be the most influential TV show of all time. I think you know where I’m going with this.
You can listen to the episode (and get the shownotes) over here. The Star Trek fun starts at 09:40

With the fiftieth anniversary happening today, there have been some articles on the franchise.
Here are a few I’ve found particularly interesting and relevant to Star Trek‘s own mission.

Deep Space Nine is my favorite Star Trek series, and one of the greatest television shows of all time. It paved the way in many ways to our current “serialized” fascination. That is, on top of being an amazing work of science-fiction.
Two recent articles specifically tackled why Deep Space Nine is truly the best:

Deep Space Nine Is Star Trek’s Best World, Because It’s the Real World

Deep Space Nine took the world established in the previous shows and opened it up to all the longstanding complexities that would come with it. We got to see how these different species groups lived and worked together over a long period of time. We saw amazing friendships and bitter rivalries developing side-by-side. (It’s why having the show take place on a space station made so much sense.) And while the Federation was still as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as ever, dedicated to making the universe a more peaceful, prosperous place, we also got to see that not everyone has the same idea of what’s best, especially when it came down to different species. Sometimes it went hand-in-hand with humanity’s mission, other times it was completely the opposite. But we had a great crew that knew the value of compromise.

What Deep Space Nine does that no other Star Trek series can

Without this stubborn nugget of hope at its core, DS9 would be more like the 2000s version of Battlestar Galactica—a story about space mysticism and war that’s laced with a fatalism about humanity. Ron Moore was an executive producer on DS9 and the creator of BSG, so the overlap makes sense. But on DS9, we are immersed in a world where our faith in the basic decency of intelligent beings can remain unshaken. Whether solid or liquid, most of the creatures who live on the space station always do the right thing. And most importantly, the good guys prevail not just because they are good, but because they are able to put their ideals to practical use.

Star Trek is also about representation, diversity, and social progress. Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor did an amazing essay on why On Its 50th Anniversary, Star Trek Must Recommit Itself to “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”.
This is an especially relevant article in light of the new cast of characters announced for Discovery (including, finally, a lead gay character). The article also highlights other issues at play with disabilities, current issues, faith and prejudice.

And speaking of having an impact beyond the small screen, Vanity Fair did a list of 50 Things That Happened Because of Star Trek. In 1979, NASA brought Nichelle Nichols to help recruit women and minorities for the space program!

Finally, if you’ve ever been curious as to what my favorite Star Trek episodes are, well I’ve got good news. For the 50th anniversary, I decided to compile my Top 50 Episodes across all five series!
They’re divided by show, and chronologically, so it’s really more of a general list of my faves.

(Let’s be honest. I’m really writing this list so I can send it directly to people who ask about the best episodes.)

My Top 50 Star Trek Episodes (so far…)

The Original Series
spock tos

Balance of Terror (1×08)
The Devil in the Dark (1×26)
The City on the Edge of Forever (1×28)
Amok Time (2×05)
The Doomsday Machine (2×06)
Mirror, Mirror (2×10)
The Trouble With Tribbles (2×13)
Journey to Babel (2×15)

The Next Generation
picard tng

The Measure of a Man (2×09)
Q Who? (2×16)
Yesterday’s Enterprise (3×15)
Darmok (5×02)
Unification (5×07-08)
Cause and Effect (5×18)
The Inner Light (5×25)
Chain of Command (6×10-11)
All Good Things… (7×25-26)

Deep Space Nine
sisko ds9

Duet (1×19)
Necessary Evil (2×08)
The Wire (2×22)
Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast (3×20-21)
The Visitor (4×03)
Little Green Men (4×08)
Homefront/Paradise Lost (4×11-12)
Hard Time (4×18)
The Quickening (4×24)
Trials and Tribble-ations (5×06)
Children of Time (5×22)
Far Beyond the Stars (6×13)
In the Pale Moonlight (6×19)

Voyager
janeway voy

Distant Origin (3×23)
Living Witness (4×23)
Timeless (5×06)
Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy (6×04)
Pathfinder (6×10)
Blink of an Eye (6×12)
Author, Author (7×20)

Enterprise
archer ent

Dear Doctor (1×13)
Future Tense (2×16)
The Expanse (2×26)
Damage (3×19)
Babel One/United (4×12-13)
In a Mirror, Darkly (4×18-19)

There are a lot of episodes (especially with Deep Space Nine), which I simply didn’t have the real-estate to add in this Top 50. Suffice it to say, they’re all worth watching all the way through!
(Well, maybe not all of Voyager.)

Here’s to another fifty years of the greatest and truest science-fiction franchise across all media!

And here’s to Star Trek: Discovery! Gonna have to get used to typing DSC instead of DS9…

Live Long and Prosper.

Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.


I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

600 posts later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry—from spec to success.


Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.


I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.


Write on.


P.S.: New around? You should start here.

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