hi. i write for tv now. it's cuz i suck dude. not like you. no way. you are internet star. know how i know? becuz you do such a good job of hating.

Script Format For Television Scripts

by Diane House
It's important to remember that there is no hard and fast standardization. Each show has its own idiosyncrasies. There are some things, however, that remain consistent in all teleplays whether drama or sitcom. The goal here is give you an idea of what those are.

If you want to write for television, you must do your homework. Learn about the show you wish to write a spec for. Study its style; find out the common script length, and most of all, read as many scripts as you can get your hands on. Dissect them; try to figure out if anything is wrong with them and, if you find something, figure out how to fix it. In other words, know the show inside and out, be enthusiastic about it, believe in it; be a fan.

Format and story structure are precise when it comes to episodic television. A 1/2 hour story runs about 22 minutes; an hour show, about 45 minutes with commercials dispersed for the remaining time. The breaks must be in the right spot for the advertisers to put up their wares. They also need to be compelling enough to bring your viewer back to the program.

Television is like a factory. It survives on an endless stream of product; sometimes so similar in nature that it's hard to tell the shows apart. With the increase of cable, the need has increased an awful lot in the last 15 years.

Network TV is no longer king. An increasing number of channels have gone into production with their own original programming. Examples are HBO, Showtime, TNT, Sci Fi, and USA. This is great because it has expanded the marketplace in which writers can circulate.

The most important thing to remember here is that drama is conflict. Without it - no drama. You've got to take your characters to hell before you give them a happy ending or it won't mean anything. Conflict comes from inside the characters and an external influence. There are three types: Man vs. Himself, Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature.

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