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Alex and Nick invite Britta Lundin, story editor on The CW’s Riverdale and author of Ship It, to discuss everything you need to know about your first TV staff writing job and working on a popular show.

What is the process of getting staffed on a TV series? What is the experience of working in a writers’ room for the first time? How do you approach the “room etiquette”? From pitch to draft, and season to episode, what is the writing process like on Riverdale? How do you adapt your voice to that of a showrunner? How should you build on studio and network notes? What is a writer’s job on set and in post-production? How is writing a novel different than TV writing?

The Paper Team gets a script…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Getting staffed on Riverdale, expectations vs. reality of a TV writers’ room, adapting your voice, breaking the season and episodes, dealing with notes, writers’ room etiquette, being on set and in post, engaging with fandom, converting a screenplay into a novel and differences between the two forms (00:56)
Resources and Next Week On (57:57)

Links

Britta Lundin on Twitter
Riverdale on The CW (Wednesdays 8/7c)
Pre-order “Ship It” by Britta Lundin
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
“Chapter Ten: The Lost Weekend” (1×10 – Riverdale)
Jughead’s “I’m Weird” Speech Meme
“How To Practice “Safe” Shipping w/ The Riverdale Cast” (Video)

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad 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 discuss the evolution of censorship on TV and the involvement of “standards & practices”.

What is considered censorship in television? How is sensitive content categorized? What are differences in TV censorship across the world? How have sensibilities changed across the years? When can standards & practices influence TV writing?

Plus, we answer our very first voicemail.

The Paper Team bleeps itself…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Paper Scraps: Rolling submissions and visa questions (00:49)
1 – How is television regulated? (03:56)
2 – Evolution of sensibilities on TV (20:46)
3 – Differences in censorship around some countries (33:20)
4 – TV writing solutions to standards & practices (40:16)
Resources and Next Week On (51:14)

Links

Send a voicemail to TV Calling and Paper Team
“Immigrants: We Get the TV Job Done!” (PT56)
Broadcast Standards and Practices
Miller test
“F$%& Censorship” (2×05 – The Chris Gethard Show) (Video)
Safe Harbor Law
Telecommunications Act of 1996
V-chip
“He’s a Crowd” (5×12 – L.A. Law)
Lesbian kiss episode
“Rejoined” (4×06 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
“On Losing Patience for Women Kissing” – The Mary Sue
Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel
American Crime (TV series)
ReBoot

Resources

“This Business of Television” – Howard Blumenthal

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad 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 share their experiences adapting preexisting material to television, from established novels and properties to historical events.

What constitutes an adaptation? How do you balance existing content and personal take? How close should you stick to the original source? How do you stay historically accurate while telling a compelling story? When should you spec an existing property without having the rights?

Plus, a new venue for feedback and an update on the Fox Writers Lab.

The Paper Team gets inspired by…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Paper Scraps: Voicemail and Fox Writers Lab Update (00:51)
1 – Defining what is an adaptation: IPs, properties, and real events (07:24)
2 – Choosing the right format, tips on adapting history and existing content (16:14)
3 – Speccing established IPs without having the rights (38:59)
Takeaways and Resources (49:15)

Links

“TV Writing Competitions” (PT33)
“TV Writing Competition Winners: What Happens Next?” (PT65)
Send a voicemail to TV Calling and Paper Team
“Inspiration vs. Stealing in TV Writing” (PT58)
The Wolf of Wall Street
Wall Street (Movie)
Spotlight
Kingsman: The Secret Service
W.
Band of Brothers
Rome
Revenge
The Count of Monte Cristo
“Why The Expanse is transforming TV” – Wired
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” – Tom Stoppard
Star Trek: Terran

Resources

“Beyond Fidelity: The Dialogics of Adaptation” – Robert Stam (PDF)
DP/30 interview with Eric Heisserer (Arrival)
The Writers’ Panel with Eric Heisserer

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad 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 mark Halloween by looking at iconic TV episodes celebrating the holiday and what makes them so special.

How does Halloween translate to television? What are some of the best Halloween episodes? What makes a good Halloween story?

The Paper Team scares itself…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – Some Halloween history (00:46)
2 – Elements of Halloween TV episodes (08:17)
3 – Favorite Halloween episodes (17:23)
4 – The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror (29:24)
Resources and Next Week On (36:48)

Links

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
“Greg Pikitis” (2×07 – Parks and Recreation)
“Halloween” (2×05 – The Office)
“Pinkeye” (1×07 – South Park)
“Epidemiology” (2×06 – Community)
The Cabin in the Woods
“The Scare” (1×11 – Dawson’s Creek)
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester” (4×07 – Supernatural)
“Spookyfish” (2×15 – South Park)
“Halloween” (2×06 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Janus
“Life of the Party” (5×05 – Angel)
“Fear, Itself” (4×04 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“Halloween” (1×04-05 – American Horror Story)
“The Honking” (2×18 – Futurama)
“Halloween/Ellie” (2×10 – Louie)
“Spooky Endings” (2×05 – Happy Endings)
Script for Happy Endings’ “Spooky Endings” episode
Treehouse of Horror
“A Nightmare on Face Time” (16×12 – South Park)

Resources

Massive spreadsheet list of Halloween TV episodes
“Is Your Halloween Costume Racist?” – Kat Lazo

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]

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.

717 posts and 9 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.

TV Calling

TV Calling