TV Writing On Demand: Creating Great Content in the Digital Era takes a deep dive into writing for today’s audiences, against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving TV ecosystem. Amazon, Hulu and Netflix were just the beginning. The proliferation of everything digital has led to an ever-expanding array of the most authentic and engaging programming that we’ve ever seen. No longer is there a distinction between broadcast, cable and streaming. It’s all content. Regardless of what new platforms and channels will emerge in the coming years, for creators and writers, the future of entertainment has never looked brighter.

This book goes beyond an analysis of what makes great programming work. It is a master course in the creation of entertainment that does more than meet the standards of modern audiences—it challenges their expectations. Among other essentials, readers will discover how to:

  • Satisfy the binge viewer: analysis of the new genres, trends and how to make smart initial decisions for strong, sustainable story. Plus, learn from the rebel who reinvented an entire format.
  • Develop iconic characters: how to foster audience alignment and allegiance, from empathy and dialogue to throwing characters off their game, all through the lens of authenticity and relatability.
  • Create a lasting, meaningful career in the evolving TV marketplace: how to overcome trips, traps and tropes, the pros and cons of I.P.; use the Show Bible as a sales tool and make the most of the plethora of new opportunities out there.

A companion website offers additional content including script excerpts, show bible samples, interviews with television content creators, and more.

part I|124 pages

Satisfying the Binge Viewer

chapter 1|28 pages

Blurring the Lines

Redefining Genre and Tone in the Dramedy

chapter 2|20 pages

The Slow-Burn, Season-Long Procedural

From Murder One and Twin Peaks to The Night Of, Fargo, Search Party and More

chapter 3|15 pages

Trust Me

The Long Con On-Demand—From The Riches to Sneaky Pete, Patriot, The Americans and More

chapter 4|18 pages

Dystopias, Multiverses and Magic Realism

chapter 5|18 pages

Story Tentacles

Making Surprising Choices That Yield More Story

chapter 6|14 pages

Spotlight on a Rebel

Ryan Murphy Reinvents the Mini-Series by Embracing His Inner Outsider

part II|100 pages

Developing Iconic Characters

chapter 7|23 pages

Character Empathy vs. Sympathy

How and Why We Align With Characters’ Wants and Needs

chapter 8|20 pages

Choosing Between Two Wrongs

Characters Trapped by Limitation

chapter 9|27 pages

The Wild Card Character

Power Dynamics and Motivations

chapter 10|24 pages

Writing Smart Dialogue in the Digital Era

part III|75 pages

Career Strategies in the Evolving TV Marketplace

chapter 11|15 pages

To I.P. or Not to I.P.? That Is the Question

The Value of Intellectual Property in the Scripted TV Ecosystem

chapter 12|21 pages

The Show Bible as an Essential Sales Tool

chapter 13|18 pages

Trips, Traps, Tropes

Avoiding Rookie Mistakes

chapter 14|15 pages

The Creative Entrepreneur

From Kickstarting a Web Series to Hitting the Big Time