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TV series idea

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I have a short-story that I recently finished that I had originally intended to be a serialization.  Due to time constraints, I turned the concept into a short, which I'm about to start trying to submit to magazines.  (This  is, by the way, NOT a children's story.)

Anyhow, I think the premise/concept would be PERFECT for a TV series.  The short story really is the "origins" story for this character, but leaves open a path to have countless adventures. I think the main character is complex and different.  So, how does one go about getting something like this done?  Do you have to write a script for a pilot episode first?  Or can you present the idea in "idea" form (such as the short story, etc).  Would you need to obtain an agent beforehand, or are there ways to submit such ideas without one? 

I know everything there is about how to handle this for novels...but scripts?  I know nada.  Any tips on where to start? 

#1 - April 10, 2008, 09:37 AM


I hate to be the purveyor of doom and gloom here, but...   :eeyore   :eeyore   :eeyore

TV series ideas are extremely difficult to pitch in Hollywood.  Especially now that the studios are cutting back on the number of pilots they commission.

That said, in order to go the old-fashioned direct route, you need to develop a "series bible" and scripts for the pilot and a couple of other episodes.  You then need to get an agent who will submit them for you.  There used to be a handful of people in Hollywood who would still look at something without an agent's representation, but I think they've all dried up now.

There are, however, a couple of "back door" routes that may or may not get you a series, but can be rewarding in their own right.

You can write your story idea as a novel, get it published and then pitch the screen adaptation as a TV movie/pilot.  This has been the typical "back door" method in Hollywood over the years.

Alternately, now that digital video and streaming sites like YouTube have come along, you can produce your own episodes of the show and put them online, in the hope that they'll get someone's attention.  The SciFi Channel has a series coming up called Sanctuary that was put together by people from the various Stargate projects and initially released online.  Similarly, a group of Star Trek fans have created something they call Star Trek Phase II, which has attracted a number of old Trek writers and actors, and even snagged a Hugo Award nomination.

Any way you slice it, you're looking at a very steep and very tall mountain you've got to climb.  But if you really want it, there are ways you can go about it.

#2 - April 10, 2008, 03:14 PM

I like the idea of writing the novel and taking things from there. The literary agents I've worked with all have script-agents that they work with. So if something has that sort of potential, getting the novel published could be a great way to get your idea into the right hands. I know I played with the idea of writing my new novel as a script because I think it would make a cool movie, but besides needing to learn a whole new skill set with screenwriting, I'd have no idea how to go about trying to sell it. Good Luck!  :goodluck
#3 - April 10, 2008, 04:35 PM
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