TV Pilot 101 (PT30)

TV Pilot 101 (PT30)

Alex and Nick go over everything you need to know to get started on writing your new pilot script, as well as some dos and don’ts for each step of the process.

How do you juggle writing a compelling hour of television versus only writing the first hour of a television show? Who is your target audience? What concepts and story archetypes exist in pilots? Why is this pilot story yours to write? What are some particularities of writing a TV pilot script?

The Paper Team sets up their premise…



1 – What makes a TV pilot, a TV pilot or “what it’s about and who it’s for” (0:56)
2 – The particularities of writing a pilot script (25:36)
Takeaways and Resources (54:31)


“Disappointed – Hercules” (Video)
17th Precinct
“Sunset” (3×06 – Breaking Bad)
“Bringing the TV Writers’ Room Process Home” (PT06)
“Act Breaks” (PT15)
“Exposition in TV Writing” (PT24)


“TV Pilot Checklist” – Secret of Story
“TV Script Standards” – The Black List
“Write to TV” – Martie Cook

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?

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