Category Archives: About Series Development

WRITING: Picking the Procedural Pilot Story

The bread and butter of dramatic network television, no matter your grander ambitions, is procedural storytelling. From the whimsy of Castle to the grimness of Criminal Minds, television is saturated with procedural storytelling, so an aspiring TV writer had best master this skill. One thing that seems to trip me up every time I work on a drama pilot with procedural elements is choosing the beginning ‘case of the week’ for the characters to solve in the first episode. It’s an intriguing question: How do you choose which procedural story to start with?

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WRITING: Series Pitches Need Focus

I’ve been developing series pitches for The Writersroom in the past few weeks, cherrypicking undeveloped projects from the depths of my computer and creating new ones for it. The process we’re following is: I propose a bunch of brief series pitches, and we slowly narrow them down as a group, based on how everyone feels and what they’d like to work on. And the process has been fascinating in a few ways, but I’d like to talk about one in particular: how ideas sometimes lacked a focus that prevented people from connecting with it.

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