Writing the New Dark TV Hero

Writing the New Dark TV Hero

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The fashion in TV heroes now is dark and complicated. And that's fantastic for creators! Sometimes, the lead character is actually an anti-hero! And TV story is getting bigger - just more story for an ever hungrier audience. This webinar's speaker (Peter Russell) recently did a consult where the producer gave the writer a shocking note on his pilot: 'can you make it longer?' Believe me, that's never been a note Peter has gotten before in television. And it's fantastic news for story creators. This medium is thriving. And freer than ever before. Now, TV's always been a closed off, hard to enter system. It still is, of course, but it's as open right now as it's ever been, because there are so many new venues for TV stories, and the way an audience watches has changed, too!

So - how do you write a great pilot in this market where cats don't get saved, the hero is ambiguous, and the humor is black? Peter Russell (UCLA's Teacher of the Year, & Pepperdine University's Seaver School's TV Pilot Professor) shows you how and works to quickly shape YOUR pilot characters and ideas in this webinar. And he brings his legendary inspiring and insightful teaching spirit here that will leave you energize and super-excited to tackled your project. Bring your pilot idea and Peter will help you improve it during the webinar. You'll learn how to create the 'permanent dilemma' at the heart of all great TV story, and how the kind of 'dilemma' that TV audiences love to watch has changed in the last five years. Peter and his partner have 'story-doctored' in Hollywood for the last 15 years (their latest project is for Brian Grazer's PELE, slated for release in spring of 2015.)

Using inspiring scenes from TRUE DETECTIVE, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, and the ever-darkening storyline of THE GOOD WIFE, Peter shows you how the greatest story creators exploit this new freedom -- even on network TV (which by the way, still pays way better than cable.) Peter also charts one of the biggest changes in TV -- the rise of the anti-hero, in stories like the brilliant BREAKING BAD. Peter shows you the suspense devices that Vince Gilligan employs to keep the BREAKING BAD audience on the edge of their seats.


  • How to create the single most important part of your show: fabulous, original characters
  • Why your pilot needs an 'permanent dilemma' at its very center.
  • What your show's 'hook' must be (it's different from five years ago)
  • How the main storylines in a pilot never vary in their construction, regardless of how 'hip' the show
  • What those storylines are and how to 'weave them' together
  • How to use the deep secret of 'original theme' the same way Gilligan, Chase, Fellowes, Pizzolatto, Weiner, and Sorkin do to drive your pilot AND every episode
  • Re-energizing yourself when you lose inspiration. (TV story requires a different energy - learn how to channel it)
  • Using the hidden patterns of your TV genre to leapfrog ahead (there are 13 different TV genres)
  • 'Do I create a pilot or write a spec of an existing show? The benefits of both.
  • Finding a great story from what's happening right now in the world.
  • How to find a writing partner


  • Writers who want to break into the biggest and fastest growing medium in entertainment today: TV
  • Producers who want to understand how to shape and create sellable stories.
  • Directors, editors, and actors who want to know the hidden secrets of the script they've been hired to do.
  • Writers who want to learn the fundamental forms of ALL three major TV story platforms - network, cable, and internet
  • Story creators who want to learn how and why stories sell in today's market (it's very different than five years ago.)

Find out more about Peter's online classes at peterrussellscriptdoctor.com

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