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Analyzing Great TV Pilots: Case Studies of Alias, Community, Homicide, The O.C., Scrubs and 3rd Rock from the Sun (PT54)

Analyzing Great TV Pilots: Case Studies of Alias, Community, Homicide, The O.C., Scrubs and 3rd Rock from the Sun (PT54)

Update: PT54 transcript now available

Alex and Nick break down six iconic TV pilots to look at what makes them great TV scripts (Alias, Community, Homicide, The O.C., Scrubs and 3rd Rock from the Sun).

What makes a memorable TV pilot work? How do they introduce characters in unique ways? How do they set up the world and engine of the show? What rules do they bend or follow, and why? What TV writing lessons can you learn from them?

Plus, we discuss how seriously you should take glowing feedback from screenwriting competitions.

The Paper Team starts things off…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Paper Scraps: Glowing feedback from competitions (00:00:50)
1 – Introduction to the six TV pilots (00:05:49)
2 – Why we selected these TV pilots (00:10:43)
3 – Teasers and openers (00:19:55)
4 – Character introductions, ensemble dynamics and dialogue (00:26:37)
5 – World and exposition (00:42:00)
6 – Pilot structure vs. series representation (00:47:35)
Next Week On (01:02:53)

Links

BlueCat Screenplay Competition
“Feedback and Notes: Building Your Reading Onion” (PT08)
“Brains and Eggs” (1×01 – 3rd Rock from the Sun)
“Truth Be Told” (1×01 – Alias)
“Pilot” (1×01 – Community)
“Gone for Goode” (1×01 – Homicide: Life on the Street)
“Premiere” (1×01 – The O.C.)
“My First Day” (1×01 – Scrubs)
Josh Schwartz
David Simon
Dan Harmon
in medias res
“Morning Routine” – American Psycho (Video)
Paul Attanasio
“TV Characters 101” (PT46)
Tom Fontana
Diner (Movie)

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]

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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.

723 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.

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