Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How does one write a TV show?

I recently had an idea which I thought would make a quality television program, but it occurs to me that I have no idea how to go about writing a TV show.

My best guess is to make a sort of outline for the season-long story, then break it down into salient pieces. In theory, each 'piece' would be 1 episode.

In the case of Jury Duty, the season long story would be the case on trial - which I could model after one of the interesting complicated cases I've seen on Law & Order. Each episode then would have to either reveal a new and interesting part of the case, or would focus on one of the characters... maybe some history which will give some insight into how they see the case. In fact, in parallel with the outline of the case, maybe a character sketch of each juror (as well as the Judge, Prosecutor, and Defense attorney) would be worth making, to ensure they can be overlapped in interesting ways. I wouldn't want the show to peter out halfway through the year like the first two seasons of 24...

Also, I think it would be good to simply take 1 season at a time, keeping one season more or less separate from the next. 24 did that, of course continuing characters from one season to the next (and along with them all their new history from previous seasons). This would be better than the Battlestar Galactica fiasco, where it was clear they had no idea where they were going with the story after about season 2 and started just making things up as they went.

Perhaps I'll put some thought into this, and see if I can't come up with an outline for a seasons worth of Jury Duty, the TV show :)

1 comment:

Matt said...

You should watch "The Wire" for ideas. It's an HBO show that focuses on a gang in Baltimore and the detectives trying to catch them. Each of their seasons deals with one major crime, and there are five seasons. It's really excellent, and I think you'd really dig it if you haven't seen it already.