Angelo J. Bell: Tips for Pitching for TV

TV biz structureby Angelo J. Bell

  • Enjoy watching TV. But when the time comes to put down the remote and pick up a keyboard to write, do it without reserve or hesitation.
  • Know the general theme of your show, i.e. Capitalism and revenge: Their effects on industry, culture and the individual (love & relationships).
  • Clear your mind of “can’t.”
  • Now more than ever is the time to take the lid off your TV concepts, consider all genre-bending ideas. Networks are looking for freshness. Don’t limit yourself – the sky’s the limit.
  • If you’ve had ideas that an individual, production company or network, PASSed on, go back, revisit, revamp. Reconnect to the characters and rewrite.
  • Many networks — TV and basic cable — are willing to push boundaries, be less specific and cross genres…IF the right project comes along. YOUR idea can be the impetus for their changes.
  • Working on a web series? Kick it up a notch for #TV. Hundreds of networks and stations are looking for content that stands out and is on-brand (don’t know what your network’s “brand is” watch it, research it and ask)
  • The best #TV pitching I’ve ever done has been on projects I connected with on an emotional, cerebral, philosophical and/or psychological level. Dig down deep into each character’s life and choices. When you truly know them, you can talk at length about any situation your character may find him or herself in.
  • When pitching, consider and include your PERSONAL connection to the story and characters. That’s what made the script/concept what it is.