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TV Show Pitch Template

Prepared for:

[Client.FirstName][Client.LastName]
[Client.Company]

Created by:

[Sender.FirstName][Sender.LastName]
[Sender.Company]

[TV Show Title]

[Genre and format]

[Writer's name]

[Phone number]

[Email]

[Website, LinkedIn profile, or IMDb website]

[Entertainment Background & Credentials]

[Project], [Date of publication]

[Project], [Date of publication]

[Project], [Date of publication]

[Degree], [School], [Date earned]

Logline

Think of your logline as your elevator pitch. If you had twenty seconds to tell someone about your show, what would you say?

This is one of the shortest but most important parts of your pitch. If you’re successful, these phrases will get reused as the show travels through the production and marketing pipelines.

Core Concept

[Provide a description of the core idea behind your show idea. Use this space to provide a few brief paragraphs answering questions like: What makes your show special?

How did you come up with the idea? What development process do you envision should further stakeholders come aboard? What question does the show set out to answer or explore?

According to hit TV producer Shonda Rhimes, you should put yourself in the network or studio’s position. What makes your show market-friendly?

If you’re having trouble getting started, start with the template below. Then adapt it to fit your voice and show.]

What do [Title of Comparable Show] and [Title of Comparable Show] have in common? [Outline a similarity your idea shares with these two examples, such as a theme, a setting, or a central premise.]

It is in this [description of world, situation, or tone] that [main character] must navigate the challenges of [your main character’s dilemma.]

But unlike those well-known shows, [title of your show][major distinction or departure that separates your show from the pack]. [Explain how this change reshapes the traditional formula.]

[Title of your show] should appeal to [target audience], who will find its core themes — [two or three major themes of your show] — particularly resonant at this cultural moment because of [something that makes your show feel timely and important]

“Dawson’s Creek.” “Party of Five.” “Beverly Hills 90210.” Did any of us really know people like that in high school? Did any of us ever look like that in high school? Did any of us ever have those problems in high school?

For most of us, high school was about trying to get through each day without getting beat up or humiliated. It was about constantly being faced with evidence that contradicted the way our parents and churches told us the world was supposed to work.

Life wasn’t fair. People weren’t that nice. Things didn’t always work out for the best….We just tried to get through life as best we could, usually in the face of overwhelming adult, parent and peer pressure.

[Expected Rating and Budget]

[TV maturity rating], [Expected average cost of episode. If you’re pitching a low-budget production, you might be able to calculate it with a budget template.

If it’s a high-budget production, draw on personal experience or use the budgets of other TV shows as reference points.]

This optional section helps networks decide if your idea fits with their existing programming or future programming goals. Include this section if it provides important additional information to the studio.

Otherwise, use this first-page space to give your core concept more room. But be sure to have the information available in an in-person pitch meeting.

Description

[High-level description of story. Write about your TV show’s concept, story, foundation, goals, and overall theme. 

Don’t try to obscure major reveals or plot points here. Be clear. You also need to walk a fine line between being comprehensive and being concise.

Give your audience enough information to intrigue them, and allow them to envision the project but no more. If you need a bit of inspiration, start with this template using your own voice and appropriate tone for the show.]

[Title of your show] opens on [a description of the first shot, the first scene, the main character, the setting. Briefly establish the old status quo].

When suddenly [the inciting incident of the show, the event that sets your story in motion]. Soon enough [the new status quo, your main character’s world as it has changed].

But [main character(s)][the goal they will pursue across the season or the question with which they will wrestle]. It all comes to a head when [climax of the season arc. If the show is ultimately episodic, substitute the typical climax of each episode].

[Outline the resolution of the central conflict]. And yet [something that remains unfinished or unsettled, complicating the easy resolution].

The [style or tone] of the show is [description of the style or tone]. [Elaborate on the cinematography, the world, the humor, or the issues the show confronts.]

The tone of the show is edgy humor surrounded with love — Ledgy. It’s me guest-starring on Entourage. It’s Bridget Jones forced to live inside a Judd Apatow movie. It’s Jonah Hill wearing Spanx.

Possible taglines: “Three guys. One girl. No grown-ups.” “Three guys. One girl. Trying to have Sex in the City.” “Three guys. One girl. Totally not a porn.” 

[Main Character Name]

MAIN CHARACTER:

[Introduction to character. Keep it brief. Start with the template below to get things going, then adapt it to your voice and show where possible.]

In their mind, [main character] is [a familiar archetype]. To the rest of the world, they’re [how the character’s world sees them].

[Sentence about character background, role, or goals]. They’re [adjectives] but also [adjectives]. And [memorable character detail].

[Main Character Name]

MAIN CHARACTER

[Introduction to character]

[Main Character Name]

MAIN CHARACTER

[Introduction to character]

[Main Character Name]

MAIN CHARACTER

[Introduction to character]

Pilot

Pilot

[Overview of pilot episode from beginning to end. Fill in the template below with your own style and plans.]

The episode begins in [setting]. We meet [main character(s)] as they [statement of action]. Within minutes, [the complication that ensues]. For the next [length of episode], we follow them as they [react to the complication]. The episode ends when [the complication is resolved or assimilated into a new status quo]. [Title of your TV show] leaves the viewer [adjective] and [reason the viewer will return for the second episode].

Episode Breakdown

Episode 1: “[Episode Title]

[Description. In this section of the template, provide a break-out of each episode you’ve planned as part of your TV pitch. This shows that you’ve got a long-term plan for the TV show’s success, and it helps the network understand the story arc as a season of your show progresses. 

Keep each synopsis to only two or three sentences. You don’t have to include every episode, and you shouldn’t if you’re pitching a traditional 20+ episode series. Pick your best 8-12 ideas, and include those.]

Episode 2: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 3: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 4: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 5: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 6: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 7: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 8: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 9: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 10: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

‌Episode 11: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

Episode 12: “[Episode Title]

[Description]

[Additional Comments]

[Provide any final comments that relate to your TV show pitch. Is there something left uncovered in the previous sections that would help you sell the show? If so, this is the space to add it.]

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