I had the recent pleasure of joining Pilar Alessandra as her guest for her On The Page podcast: "Sex, Death and Other TV Tips..."
One of those tips?
The six things your tv spec needs to stand out:
1. Your spec script has to be profoundly memorable, what I like to call, blazing hot. Good is not good enough.
2. Make sure the show you've selected to spec is going to be on the air for a few years. "The Goldilocks & The Three Bears Law" - Don't want it too new, don't want it too old, you want it just right (a show in its second or third season).
3. The show has to have strong ratings. When a show has so-so numbers, we don't know if it'll stay on the air.
4. Showrunners and executives need to have actually seen the show. How do you know which ones? Hint: If it's critically acclaimed and getting good reviews, it's most likely being watched. Any show with buzz.
5. Your script can't be too soft. Make it edgy, edgy, edgy.
6. Make sure it's something you can write the hell out of.
To learn more, including what makes a strong pilot and what are the best shows to spec, you can listen to the entire podcast here (we discuss the above tips around the 16:50 mark).
I'd love to hear from you. Connect with me on Twitter @CaroleKirsch and let me know: what do you think makes a TV spec stand out?
All my best, Carole
Director of WGA's Showrunner Training Program, creator & Director of the CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, international speaker and a leading expert on entertainment career strategies, Carole Kirschner teaches creative professionals how to navigate the often mystifying landscape of show business. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment is a primer on how to break in and move up in the entertainment industry. Through her popular workshops, Carole teaches writers, producers, directors and executives the real world strategies that will help them not just succeed, but thrive.