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Tired of watching the same old shows season after season? If you find yourself saying, "I could do better than that," take matters into your own hands by writing the next hit television series! It all starts with the first episode, so read on to learn how to write a television pilot.

A television pilot is the first episode of a television series scripted or non. Networks decide if they should green-light a series based on the quality of the pilot. Pilot season (January to April) is when networks tape pilots to decide which shows will make the fall line-up. Television is a competitive business, but with hard work, a fresh story concept and a fantastic pilot you can be on your way to a career in television.


Tips

It may seem obvious but in order to write good television pilots you need to know as much as you can about television shows and writing television scripts and pilots.

Television show excerpts and or full episodes may be found on weekly television, pay on demand from your television service provider, for sale or rental at film rental stores, in music or specialty stores, in department stores, from online stores, or the Internet. Check the network and show site as well as Youtube and other video locations. Television scripts may also be on the Internet, in regular or specialty film libraries, or specialty stores for film memorabilia for example or online stores.

Step 1: Brainstorm
Brainstorm by writing down all your ideas and show concepts. Don't censor yourself! Allow yourself the freedom to write down whatever comes to mind. Find inspiration by watching as much television as you can handle. Pick your favorite genre, such as sitcoms, procedurals or other dramas, and pay attention to the structure and format of the shows within that genre. Try to create a fresh, appealing concept. Once you decide on your winning concept, you will need to create the log-line. The log-line is a one-line (or two-line) synopsis of your concept. Make sure you highlight what is special about your TV show.
Step 2: Outline
First think about the format of the genre you have decided to write. If you are writing a 30-minute show, you will need to write about 22 minutes worth of material. It should have a teaser and three acts. If you are writing a 60-minute drama, you will need to write about 42 minutes of material. It should have a teaser and five or six acts. Mimic the format of the genre you are writing; watch pilots of your favorite shows. Make sure to consider commercial breaks when developing your outline. Start with basic plot elements, then flesh out with details and dialogue. Plot out every scene. You should have a beginning, middle and end. For a hit pilot, you will need to include: An intriguing hook. A surprising plot twist.
Step 3: Develop Your Characters
Remember that your pilot is introducing a whole new set of characters. You want your audience to become invested in the characters and care what happens in their lives. If the audience doesn't care, they will change the channel. Create a back story for your lead characters. You do not need to include the entire history in the pilot. Develop each character's voice and personality. Understand each character's motivations.
Step 4: Write Your Script
Start writing! Use proper screenwriting format, either with the aid of software or by relying on your own devices. A screenwriting software program does the formatting for you, so that you just concentrate on the writing. You can also do some research on proper formatting yourself and format by hand. Once the script is complete, rewrite until perfect; most quality scripts go through many, many drafts, so keep at it!