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Television

Pitching Star Trek

Roddenberry’s 1964 outline is the same kind of write-up TV writers use today.

Premise pilots

If you’re writing the pilot episode of a TV series, you have a choice to make: will this episode be more-or-less typical for the series, or will it be The Beginning?

Angles, spacing and monikers

Three quick answers on writing camera angles, formatting TV scripts and choosing a pen name.

Please take your finger out of your ear

Really, wireless radio devices don’t need to be touched to work.

What’s wrong with the business

Writers are making less money, and it’s part of a bigger shift in the industry.

Cablevision and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on the Cablevision case, allowing the Second Circuit Court’s decision to stand. Cablevision can begin introducing its service.

When is it brown-nosing?

Any sort of application, whether it’s for a grant, for college or for a job, needs to do exactly three things.

What does a showrunner’s assistant do?

Jonny Sommers has a job many readers want — or at least, think they want: the assistant to a successful and busy TV showrunner.

Terminated

Josh Friedman recounts the cancellation of his excellent show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Why aren’t adaptations ok for competitions?

With an adapted screenplay, it’s not altogether obvious what awesomeness came from the screenwriter, and what came from the underlying material.

Pilot School

A site featuring tons of TV pilot scripts.

The biggest TiVo in the world

The thin line between unlimited DVR and video-on-demand.

Alaska: The Satchel Boy

A clip from my 2003 pilot, directed by Kim Manners.

Kim Manners

Mourning one of TV’s great directors: Kim Manners.

Cablevision and the infinite TiVo

How technology could upend the economics of filmed entertainment.

How long should it take to write a script?

Knowing the answer is part of the craft, just like a cabinetmaker promising a delivery date.

Time jumps and oil drilling

Two unrelated questions answered. 1. Clarifying young and old versions of characters. 2. How much research to do before writing.

Writers need actors

The survival of dayplayers benefits us all.

HBO

My agent leaves me to head HBO. Yeah Sue!

Shot an indie pilot. What’s next?

How to expose, fund and distribute your pilot appropriately.

Test screening questionnaires

DIY audience screenings help your product and save you money. Here’s what to ask.

Short answer sprint

Nine second answers to nine burning questions. Ready…go!

Strike, day 29

The strike gives you time to write fantasy mash-up scripts, if only in your head.

The Office is closed

Video courtesy of THE OFFICE writers.

Heroes: Origins: Gone

The WGA strike kills a spin-off, and my episode with it.