TV World-Building 101 (PT44)

TV World-Building 101 (PT44)

Update: PT44 transcript available here

Alex and Nick discuss the importance of world-building in television writing and TV pilots.

What is the point of world-building in TV shows? What are some good and bad examples of mythology? How can you implement world-building effectively in your own writing? What are some common pitfalls to avoid falling into?

The Paper Team sets the scene…



1 – Defining world-building (00:58)
2 – Tools of world-building (10:03)
3 – Common pitfalls of world-building (20:19)
Takeaways and Resources (29:22)


The Shield
Vic Mackey
Claudette Wyms
C. C. H. Pounder
The Practice
Battlestar Galactica
The Man in the High Castle (TV Series)
American Gods (TV Series)
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
Defiance (TV Series)
17th Precinct
Battle of Serenity Valley (Firefly)
The Handmaid’s Tale (TV Series)
“Unfinished Business” (3×09 – Battlestar Galactica)
“TV Writer vs. Fandom: Writers’ Rooms and Fan Interaction” (PT38)
“The One with the Prom Video” (2×14 – Friends)


r/worldbuilding (reddit)
Writing in the Margins’ Sensitivity Readers

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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.

693 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.

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