Writing the TV Spec Script

Sarah Zucker, Screenwriter

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5 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Storytelling for TV

    • 3. Loglines

    • 4. Beat Sheets

    • 5. Scripting


About This Class

TV Spec Script is an episode of an existing TV show that a writer creates to show their ability to write for a similar show. It is the building block of the aspiring TV writer's portfolio, and working with existing characters and premises is an enriching exercise for any writer.

Television has entered a new Golden Era as the Internet continues to change the way we consume entertainment: Whether it's on Netflix, Hulu, or the traditional "boob tube" networks, the scripted TV show is more popular and engaging than ever.

This course aims to teach the basics of writing a TV Spec script, from choosing the right show to spec, writing a logline/simple premise, writing a beat sheet, and scripting. Students will be able to workshop their scripts in a safe, supportive space with feedback from their peers and the instructor.

Writing the TV Spec Script with Sarah Zucker

This class covers:

  • Storytelling for TV: one hour vs. half hour
  • Comedy/Drama Formats
  • Choosing which shows to Spec
  • Coming up with a premise
  • Writing Loglines
  • Coming up with a plot
  • Writing a beatsheet
  • Elements of Style for TV writing
  • Working with existing characters

How it will be taught

The course will be taught as a series of pre-recorded lecture videos that introduce the concepts and how-tos of storytelling for the TV Spec Script. Each unit will have a Project Step, as well as helpful resources.

Students are able to seek feedback from one another by uploading their work to the Project Gallery, and are encouraged to analyze and engage with each other's projects. Course challenges will gives students the opportuntiy to receive feedback from the instructor and other industry professionals. 

Students will also have access to a Q&A forum where they can find additional helpful materials and ask questions should they need help.