The Art of the TV Episode (PT20)

The Art of the TV Episode (PT20)

Alex and Nick explore the differences in what an episode looks like between episodic or procedural TV and serialized shows.

How has the TV episode evolved over the years? What does an episode mean in the age of binge-watching? What are some memorable stand-alone and serialized episodes?

The Paper Team offers a self-contained narrative…



1 – The Stand-Alone Episode (00:34)
2 – The Serialized Episode (13:23)
3 – What is a TV episode today? (35:34)
4 – Critical reception of Episodic vs. Serialized TV (42:45)
Next Week On (50:03)


Masters of Horror
“22 Short Films About Springfield” (7×21 – The Simpsons)
“Window of Opportunity” (4×06 – Stargate SG-1)
“The Farnsworth Parabox” (4×15 – Futurama)
“Hush” (4×10 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Donald Trump “Law & Order: SVU” Episode Gets Post-Election Airdate
6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park
“Restless” (4×22 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“Grave Danger” (5×24-25 – CSI)
Monte-Carlo Television Festival
MIPTV Media Market
Coupling (US)
Law & Order: UK
Paris enquêtes criminelles
Babylon 5
The Cuckoo Hour
Dream On
“A Mother’s Work” (6×13 – Sons of Anarchy)
“Phase One” (2×13 – Alias)
“Other Things You Could Be Doing” (2×12 – You’re the Worst)
“Development Arrested” (3×13 – Arrested Development)
Why mythological shows are often idolized
NY Times Reviews Amazon’s Goliath Out of Order
“Two Boats and a Helicopter” (1×03 – The Leftovers)
“Guest” (1×06 – The Leftovers)
In Praise of Midbrow TV

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

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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.

687 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.

What’s Alex Watching?

The Good FightThe LeftoversThe Chris Gethard ShowMaster of NoneLegion
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