Five months ago (almost to the day), Nick Watson and I launched a weekly TV writing podcast about the craft and the industry. Classic stuff.
We called it Paper Team.

Well, after 25 episodes (the 26th is coming this Monday) and a brand new year, we just crossed 10,000 downloads.

You read that right.

TEN THOUSAND DOWNLOADS!

Paper Team 10000 Downloads

Clearly this is proof of one thing: y’all are some awesome people.

I know a large part of it comes down to you great regular TV Calling readers (and listeners) so THANK YOU.

In fact… THANK YOU TO ALL OUR LISTENERS.

It’s been a lot of hours of work to put out each episode on a regular schedule, so we really appreciate the love.

As will be mentioned in Monday’s upcoming episode (our first one of 2017), we have some good things planned for the upcoming year. (Maybe even a stint at one of the big cons but shh it’s still a secret.)

Hard to believe it’s only been (barely) half a year since we launched.
I’m going to pat us on the back and say our New Year resolution is to keep getting bigger, brighter, and better.

But really this is all for you.

So if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, don’t hesitate to e-mail us at [email protected].

If you use iTunes, we also always appreciate reviews, which you can leave at http://paperteam.co/itunes.

And of course you can subscribe to Paper Team on all major podcast platforms

Alex and Nick celebrate the holiday season and the end of 2016 by taking a look at their favorite TV holiday episodes, the best media of the past year, and some stats about the first six months of Paper Team.

What makes a TV Christmas special? What are some of the best holiday specials? What was the best thing of 2016? What gifts did Nick and Alex give each other?

The Paper Team settles down in front of the fire and grabs a cup of eggnog…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What makes a TV Christmas special? (00:30)
2 – The best holiday TV episodes (11:12)
3 – Best of 2016 (27:10)
4 – A look back at Paper Team’s first year (47:45)
Gift Exchange and Outro (52:45)

Links

Jingle All the Way
It’s a Wonderful Life
Christmas Episode (TV Tropes)
List of U.S. Christmas television episodes
EastEnders
Downton Abbey
Doctor Who Christmas specials
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV special)
Home Alone
Die Hard
“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” (1×01 – The Simpsons)
“Marge Be Not Proud” (7×11 – The Simpsons)
“Xmas Story” (2×08 – Futurama)
“Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo” (1×09 – South Park)
“Amends” (3×10 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
A Christmas Carol
“Merry Mayhem” (6×10 – Dawson’s Creek)
“The Best Chrismukkah Ever” (1×13 – The O.C.)
The OC Insider Shop
Yamaclaus
“The Strike” (9×10 – Seinfeld)
The Get Down
The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story
BrainDead
Atlanta
The Good Place
“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (1×06 – American Crime Story)
“San Junipero” (3×04 – Black Mirror)
“Fish Out Of Water” (3×04 – Bojack Horseman)
“Category 55 Doomsday Crisis” (1×05 – The Good Place)
Travelers
We Bare Bears
The Hamilton Mixtape
Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)
“Conscious” – BROODS
“Sprained Ankle” – Julien Baker
Moonlight
Arrival
Eric Heisserer
Lights Out
La La Land
“Bitch Planet” – Kelly Sue DeConnick
“Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” – Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz
The Influence of TV: Scratching the Surface (PT11)
Diversity in TV and the Writers’ Room ft. Francesca Butler & Kelly Lynne D’Angelo (PT14)
The Writers Guild Foundation Podcast
Time Timer
Pomodoro Technique
Aaron Sorkin’s Trump Letter
YearCompass
Home Alone: The Authorized Coloring Book
Die Hard: The Authorized Coloring and Activity Book
Aqua Notes Water-Proof Notepad

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn 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 take a look at exposition in television writing, from dialogue to prose, action, and meta information.

What should be revealed to the audience? How can you give exposition in an organic and entertaining way? What differentiates good exposition from bad exposition?

The Paper Team shows and tells…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What is exposition and what information should you reveal (00:29)
2 – How to do exposition in TV: bad versus good exposition, dialogue, prose, and meta (06:52)
Takeaways and Resources (30:29)

Links

Mr. Exposition (TVTropes)
“Why Fall TV is Choking on Its Own Voice-Over” – IndieWire
“And Maggie Makes Three” (6×13 – The Simpsons)
“Lizard” (1×01 – Man Seeking Woman)
“Pilot” (1×01 – Breaking Bad)
“Top Banana” (1×02 – Arrested Development)
Fringe’s location chyrons
“Through the Looking Glass” (3×22-23 – Lost)
Lost’s flash-fowards
“Premiere” (1×01 – Farscape)

Resources

“Dialogue Secrets” – William Martell
“Escape From (Dull) Exposition” (Video)

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn 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 contentious subject of copyrighting and idea theft in television. From the WGA to the Copyright Office, we take a look at the basics of protecting your work.

What does a copyright do? Should you register your TV spec script or pilot? Have there been cases of TV copyright infringements? Why is it important for TV writers to share their work?

The Paper Team consults their legal team…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What is copyright or WGA West Registry vs. Copyright Office (1:01)
2 – Common questions about copyright (04:06)
3 – International copyright (9:55)
4 – When you should copyright and if copyright is enforced in TV (12:00)
5 – Why you should share your work instead of over-protecting it (19:02)
Takeaways (28:14)

Links

WGA West Registry
U.S. Copyright Office
Copyright Act of 1976
Authors’ Rights (AKA “droit d’auteur”)
“Judge Rejects New Girl Idea Theft Case” – Variety
“Forest Park’s Breach of Contract Suit Over USA Network’s ‘Royal Pains’ Not Preempted by Copyright Act” – Seattle Copyright Watch
John August’s thoughts on idea theft
“Speccing and Sharing Star Trek: Terran” – TV Calling
Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s “Experimental Design Bureau”
John August’s draft library
“A darkly comedic Seinfeld spec script set days after 9/11” – AV Club

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn 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]

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.

650 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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