Writing the Original Series

Prerequisites: Elements of Screenwriting. 42 classroom hours

PFM 242 A : Mon

In this course students with basic screenwriting skills will create an original TV or web series. Lectures and screenings will examine traditional structures such as the network sitcom and the “hour-long” drama, and ways that streaming technology and connectivity are changing those structures and creating new ones. Students will be introduced to the concepts of the series “franchise,” the show bible, and the writers’ room. TV writing basics are covered including creating an outline and a beat sheet, A stories and B stories, consistency of character and dialogue, and serial vs procedural episode progression. Assignments will give students experience in pitching their series concept, sketching out the beginning of the overall story arc, and writing the first draft of all or part of a pilot episode (20-30 pages). Considerable outside work is necessary.