What Makes a Great TV Idea? Learn What Hollywood Looks for in a TV Idea and Pilot Script

What Makes a Great TV Idea? Learn What Hollywood Looks for in a TV Idea and Pilot Script

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After having the good fortune of launching a professional screenwriting career with the HBO miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS and FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, writer-producer Erik Bork was introduced to the world of creating series ideas, pitching them, and writing pilot scripts by his television agents at CAA.

Since then, Erik has developed countless one-hour and half-hour concepts and presented them to his agents, producers, studio and network executives – in some cases selling or optioning the idea and being commissioned to write a pilot script (in other cases, not!). In the process, he learned, the hard way, what works and doesn’t work in a series idea, and how television writing and series creation works.

In this OnDemand webinar, Erik will share all the key things he’s learned about what makes an idea “work,” and what a good concept, pitch, and pilot script looks like.


  • “What’s the franchise?” – how to answer this question and other annoying questions executives ask
  • Why doctors, lawyers, and cops always seem to dominate prime time
  • The key to good TV characters
  • The emotional thrill ride that is the annual series development cycle
  • How most aspiring writers think of television storytelling the wrong way
  • The (superficial) differences between broadcast, basic, and pay cable
  • How “procedural” and “personal” are the only two kinds of TV stories
  • How “3-act structure” works on TV, despite shows not having 3 acts!
  • Juggling A, B, and C stories, and the characters who “get” them
  • What a “premise pilot” is, and why you really shouldn’t write one


  • Writers who are considering writing television scripts (of any kind)
  • Writers who think they have a great idea for a series (or wish they did)
  • Writers who are tired of the negatives of feature screenplay writing
  • Writers who think television is possibly the best place for them
  • Writers interested in getting on a TV writing staff
  • Writers who have a television script they think is ready
  • Writers looking for inspiration and guidance from someone who is just like them

Erik Bork is a screenwriter best known for his work on the HBO miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS and FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, for which he wrote multiple episodes, and won two Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards as part of the producing team. Erik has also sold series pitches (and written pilots) at NBC and FOX, worked on the writing staff for two primetime dramas, and written feature screenplays on assignment for companies like Universal, HBO, TNT, and Playtone. He teaches screenwriting for UCLA Extension, National University and The Writers Store, and offers one-on-one consulting to writers. His multi-category Amazon best-selling book THE IDEA: The Seven Elements of a Viable Story for Screen, Stage, or Fiction was released in 2018.

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