Creating a TV Pilot that Grips the Audience from Page 1

Creating a TV Pilot that Grips the Audience from Page 1

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  • Do you want to get in on the red-hot world of TV and streaming content, but writing a pilot from scratch sounds too daunting?
  • Do your TV scripts contain great ideas, but aren't yet placing in contests or catching the industry's eye?
  • Are readers having trouble following your story or connecting with your themes?
  • Do some of your characters and situations fall into cliches or stereotypes?
  • Are you hoping to be seriously considered for staffing in a TV writers' room?

This OnDemand webinar will teach you the steps you need to ensure that your TV pilot snares readers' attention in the very first scene, and keeps them thinking about your story long after they've finished the final word. By examining the pilots of Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Modern Family, Frasier, Weeds, Big Bang Theory, and more, we'll break down what all of these classics have in common—and how you can emulate their best qualities.

Timothy has taught screenwriting and filmmaking at New York University, Yale University, the Writers Guild of America, and more, while consulting on hundreds of productions in NYC, L.A., and beyond. His experience will help you build a TV pilot that's true to your vision, totally unique, and sellable—while making you more passionate than ever about this craft.

After taking this class, you'll intuitively understand how to construct your own pilot from logline to final draft, by using classical structure in a truthful and personal way. Creating indelible characters, shocking plot twists, and surprising conflicts will be far easier. With Timothy's insight, you'll take away brand-new skills to help you craft an industry-ready pilot that's hilarious, dramatic, moving, and marketable.


By the time you finish this class, you'll know:

  • How to open any pilot—half-hour or hourlong—with a bang
  • The 5 crucial elements your first 10 pages absolutely must contain
  • Which elements of formatting and structure you should follow and which you can ignore
  • Whether you should be writing a serial or a procedural right now
  • Why you must know your pilot's audience and write specifically for them
  • When and when not to mix genres
  • How to build a complex protagonist with a flaw that can never be solved...yet we root for them anyway
  • Secrets to designing supporting supporting characters who enhance your protagonist's issues
  • How to identify a powerful theme you can return to again and again
  • The key to juggling A, B, and C stories cleanly
  • Techniques for building the world of your show, whether it's in the modern day, future, or past
  • Write a cliffhanger that leaves your audience dying for episode 2
  • How to amp up the stakes even on page 1, then crank them even higher in each act
  • Use your passion, interests, and life experience to enhance your connection with the reader
  • The 3 differences between amateur and professional writers' pilots: efficiency, density, and twists


  • Sitcom writers looking to make a name for themselves with a solid concept and high-level joke crafting
  • Hourlong drama writers who want to make sure their idea stands up for itself in a competitive industry
  • Writers hoping to get staffed on a TV show and/or find representation with an agent/manager
  • Those who've written a few spec scripts, but need a step-by-step method to writing their first pilot
  • Brand-new writers seeking to understand what separates pilots that sell from those that languish
  • More experienced writers who know their script isn't breaking through, but aren't sure why
  • Up-and-comers hoping to place in major TV contests and fellowships, like Austin, Sundance, Amazon, etc.
  • Artists looking to punch up an existing pilot script
  • Students seeking high-level techniques to take their pilot to the next stage
  • Creators in the outlining phase who want to strengthen their story before taking the next step
  • Anyone who's eager to strengthen their script's characters, dialogue, action, and storytelling

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.