It’s not easy to pitch a TV show idea in the entertainment industry. It’s even more difficult if you’re not an established name. But with a solid pitch (clearly demonstrating your creative point of view) you can stand above the rest.
A TV show gets commissioned if it’s original, profitable, and shows signs of longevity. CBS’s top show, “The Big Bang Theory”, for example, went on for 12 seasons (the first season aired in 2007), drawing up to 17.31 million viewers in its 2018 season finale.
If your TV show is well-received and garners high viewership figures, you might earn millions in advertising revenue. So, how do you pitch a TV show?
To successfully pitch a TV show, come up with a unique concept. Or, better yet, come up with an original “what if” hook that sets it apart. This is what will make your pitch sell. Avoid including lots of ideas and subplots at this point. Just get the main basis for your TV show on paper.
A concept can be as simple as “what if a chemistry teacher starts cooking meth?” (a hook based on an actual TV show, Breaking Bad). Your hook should be unique and compelling.
To learn about what’s selling in the TV show world, research current Hollywood TV trends on popular sites. It’s essential to learn and understand what makes a TV show idea sellable.
A film treatment is a summary of a TV show. Ensure the title of your film treatment is catchy or immediately recognizable. Most TV shows have catchy phrases as titles. Mad Men, for example, is a television show about advertising agencies and the men who work there. Be creative.
Once you have a title, write a catchier logline or two sentences selling your TV show’s idea to producers. A logline is meant to tell people what they’re watching and ultimately reveal the show’s clever hook.
After that, write a brief synopsis, craft a detailed character sheet, and then give a breakdown of your show’s episodes. Lastly, put together your film treatment and ensure all aspects of the document (title, logline, etc.) are well organized. A good film treatment can help you to win over investors or easily access online title loans so you can start production.
When pitching your TV show, keep everything short. Explain to producers how your show is marketable and emotional. Know how your show will end as well, and don’t forget to sell yourself when pitching.
Another important tip is to talk about why your show is worth watching, who it targets, and the parts you’d like to highlight to make the show’s trailer. A good trailer sparks interest, and the more the merrier. Around 21% of people say having four to six trailers is best before the release of a TV show.
Focus on why your show is good for an audience, not why you think it’s awesome. And when you finally start pitching your show, use less than 15 minutes. Remember, you’re giving a summary, not the entire play-by-play.