Writing Episodic Television


This class will focus on all the factors that go into preparing and writing an episode for a network TV series (dramas only). Students begin with a "pitch" (verbally or in short outline form) for an idea for a show currently on a network schedule. Once the "pitch" is accepted, the student will then complete a "beat sheet," and ultimately a spec script that can run from 62 to 75 pages. Two drafts of the script will be required. During the course of this process, students will also learn how to research their narrative premises by contacting legal, medical, and law enforcement experts in order to guarantee the accuracy of their scripts. In addition to learning the actual writing process, students will be expected to watch several television shows and to read books, scripts, and industry trade papers as they pertain to the craft and business of television writing. Finally, students will also meet agents, producers, directors, and other television industry professionals in order to gain their insights into the script writing process and to gain a more global view of the steps involved in bringing their ideas to the screen.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM


Richard Chapman

Richard Chapman

​Senior Lecturer of Film and Media Studies