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Alex and Nick go over what you need to know about how TV writers get jobs in a writers’ room, and how you can best prepare yourself for this process. From samples to showrunner meetings, get tips and advice on getting staffed.

What is staffing season in TV? What are staffing differences between broadcast and cable? How is a TV writers’ room staffed? How do the network, the studio, the production company and the showrunner work on hiring the room? What are ways to ace a staffing meeting? How should you prep for TV staffing?

The Paper Team plays musical chairs…

SHOWNOTES

Content

What is staffing season (00:46)
Process of staffing and acing the meetings (11:31)
Preparing for staffing season (25:01)
Takeaways and Resources (30:08)

Links

Meetings 101: Generals and TV Staffing (PT62)

Resources

“Staffing-Season Brides” – Jane Espenson

This episode brought to you by Roadmap Writers’ JumpStart Writing Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

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 present two back-to-back TV writing panels, one for comedy and one for drama, digging into the intricacies of the writers’ room.

From staff writer to showrunner, we’ve assembled a dozen TV writers across every level to get a sense of what it’s like to navigate a writers’ room and sustain a career.

Comedy/half-hour and animation panelists include Nina Bargiel (Barbie), Vicky Luu (Superstore), Adam Stein (Harley Quinn), Alison Tafel (BoJack Horseman), Brittani Nichols (Take My Wife), and Lauren Bradley (Spirit: Riding Free).

Drama/one-hour panelists include Alison Schapker (Altered Carbon), Monica Macer (Queen Sugar), Chris Levinson (Tyrant), Grainne Godfree (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Britta Lundin (Riverdale), and Hilliard Guess (Deadly Class).

How do you navigate a TV writers’ room? How does the dynamic and etiquette of the room influence pitching? How can you gauge if a script is effective? How have writers’ rooms evolved over the years? What do showrunners look for when hiring their staff? How can you approach breaking macro and character arcs? What is the best way for lower-level writers to make themselves valuable in the room? How do you address notes without compromising creative integrity? What are ways of dealing with the instability of the profession?

The Paper Team drops the mic…

SHOWNOTES

Content

TV comedy (half-hour shows) panel (00:01:04)
TV drama (one-hour shows) panel (01:02:22)

Links

Nina Bargiel on Twitter
Lauren Bradley on Twitter
Alison Tafel on Twitter
Vicky Luu on Instagram
Adam Stein on Twitter
Brittani Nichols on Twitter

Britta Lundin on Twitter
Monica Macer on Twitter
Hilliard Guess on Twitter
Chris Levinson on Twitter
Alison Schapker on Twitter
Grainne Godfree on Twitter

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 celebrate the ninety-ninth episode of Paper Team with a jam-packed retrospective of the podcast, including clips chosen by our listeners, popular moments, and new insights from past guests.

What are some of our listeners’ favorite moments and episodes? What new advice do some of our most popular guests have to share? How has Paper Team evolved over nearly one hundred episodes?

From assistants to writers and producers, we also get updates and fresh tips from several of our awesome guests: Britta Lundin, Hilliard Guess, Bob Dearden, Jenny Deiker, Zimran Jacob, T.A. Snyder, Franklin jin Rho, Ray Utarnachitt, and Kai Yu Wu.

Plus, we make a major announcement about an upcoming project.

The Paper Team puts on a bow tie…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Paper Team Mentorship Announcement (00:01:20)
1 – Favorite moments and iconic episodes chosen by our listeners (00:03:43)
2 – Updates from our guests ft. Britta Lundin, Hilliard Guess, Bob Dearden, Jenny Deiker, Zimran Jacob, T.A. Snyder, Franklin jin Rho, Ray Utarnachitt, and Kai Yu Wu (01:02:1)
3 – Looking back at two years of Paper Team and special thanks (01:50:33)

Links

Managing TV Writers ft. Daniela Garcia-Brcek (PT59)
Writing Adult Comedy Animation ft. Alison Tafel (PT39)
The TV Writer’s Mindset: Dealing With Procrastination, Blank Page, and the Muse (PT17)
Breaking in & Writing From “Outside the System” ft. Hilliard Guess (PT47)
TV Pitch Documents (PT82)
TV Writing Programs and Fellowships (PT85)
Weaving Storylines: A/B/C Stories (PT53)
Branding Yourself (PT86)
TV Pilot 101 (PT30)
Analyzing Great TV Pilots (PT54)
TV Writer vs. Fandom – Paper Team Live at WonderCon 2017 (PT38)
Reimagined for TV – Paper Team Live at WonderCon 2018 (PT83)
Creating Animated TV Shows ft. Tom Ruegger (PT89)
From Intern to TV Writer ft. Bob Dearden (PT87)
TV Production Companies ft. Logan Kriete (PT74)
TV Criticism ft. Heather Mason & LaToya Ferguson (PT81)
Tone in TV Writing (PT60)
Nonlinear Storytelling (PT70)
Moving to Los Angeles (and Things We Wish We Knew) (PT01)
Navigating Your First TV Writing Job ft. Britta Lundin (PT67)
Being a TV Showrunner’s Assistant (PT76)
TV Writing Competition Winners: What Happens Next? (PT55)
Being a TV Script Coordinator ft. Franklin jin Rho (PT21)

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]

TV Writing For You

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.

758 posts and 10 years 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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