Writing the Power Protagonists of AMC, HBO, and SHOWTIME

Writing the Power Protagonists of AMC, HBO, and SHOWTIME

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A great television series is always anchored by a great main character. A leading man or woman who is our compelling guide through a fascinating new world. An active hero who drives the story forward with their surprising decisions. They can be pure charisma or pure evil, but must never be boring. Love them or hate them, we can’t stop watching their exploits.

But not all leads are what are known as “Power Protagonists.”

A Power Protagonist is a dramatic force of nature, a “star” on the page and on the screen. Their unique skill is only matched in size by their Achilles Heel—the vulnerability that threatens to destroy them at every turn. Although they may be a combination of some familiar elements, they CANNOT be a cliché of a character. The Power Protagonist stands out as a wholly original and complete creation.

For a series to become iconic, it must introduce a Power Protagonist that will tap into the zeitgeist and quickly establish its place in the cultural lexicon. The great ones of recent history are synonymous with their shows. Tony Soprano...Walter White...Don Draper...Raylan Givens. This webinar will dissect past icons and the new ones still being built, such as Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul, Carrie Mathison in Homeland, Bobby Axelrod in Billions, Frank Underwood in House of Cards and Olivia Pope in Scandal.

In this era of Peak TV, there are a LOT of protagonists, but not enough with the potential to become cultural icons. For a writer to truly stand out in such a competitive, crowded field, it is crucial that they create a series with a Power Protagonist, and, of course, a delicious villain. This webinar will also delve into the psyche of the Arch-rival Antagonist!

Television is all about character, and character begins with your leading role, so make sure you craft a memorable one. This presentation is the first step in unlocking the secrets to realizing that goal.

Your instructor, Daniel Calvisi, is a renowned Story Analyst, and his groundbreaking book “Story Maps: TV Drama: The Structure of the One-Hour Television Pilot” has been endorsed by many industry professionals who are now using his method in their work.

Purchase also includes a free Story Map of the pilot episode of BETTER CALL SAUL, written by Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould.


  • The importance of creating a powerful main character and building a world around them.
  • What to do if your main character is passive or just plain boring.
  • The key questions you must ask yourself to build your own Power Protagonist.
  • The most influential Power Protagonists of the “New Golden Age” of television.
  • How to create the dynamic between the Power Protagonist and their nemesis.


  • Writers who want to create great characters
  • Writers who have ideas for pilots and protagonists but need help implementing them
  • Writers who benefit from story analysis of past hit shows
  • Writers who want to challenge themselves to create an unforgettable pilot
  • Writers who have written a pilot that needs a stronger protagonist
  • Writers looking to write a script that will place in contests, attract representation and launch their careers
  • Writers with the goal of breaking into the scripted television business

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