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Adapting Content for TV (PT65)

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…



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)


“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)
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Band of Brothers
The Count of Monte Cristo
“Why The Expanse is transforming TV” – Wired
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” – Tom Stoppard
Star Trek: Terran


“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.

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Paper Team
Paper Team
Alex Freedman & Nick Watson

Paper Team is a podcast about television writing and becoming a TV writer.

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