TV Show Ideas


Before brainstorming to come up with a good TV show idea, you need to have a keen grasp on show types and how they relate to their respective time slots. While there are reality shows and sitcoms, there are also shows that operate as hybrids of these genres. Some shows claim to be reality shows but in truth require a scripted plot line. Many argue that shows like “Real World,” “Rock of Love,” and “I Love New York” are all scripted while shows like “Miami Ink” or “Pimp My Ride” are more instructional and less in need of a plot. It will serve you well to get a good understanding of show types, because depending on your genre you might have to submit a script with your pitch. Finally, if you want to pitch a game show, it might be a bit easier. Knowing all the television genres available is key to finding the one that best suits you .


So you have a television idea, now it’s time to do your research. Many people believe if they have a good concept for a show, screenplay or novel that it eventually will sell itself, but this is not the case. The best story off the street from someone viewed as an amateur is liable to get thrown in the trash, while the real piece of trash pitched by the professional gets picked up for prime time. Find submission guidelines for the particular studio you are sending your script to. Most studios and publishing houses have a standard format for unsolicited manuscripts. Know the format before you submit, otherwise you might find your pitch being passed on by the very place that should have picked it up.


Do research before pitching your work. This means if you have a television concept that involves the 1970s make sure the dialogue in your script resembles the era. Even if the setting is in the past but the dialogue is more contemporary and that is your intention that is fine, just make sure the concept of your pitch is well thought out and the plot is fully developed.

Expert Insight

According to Blog Maverick for HDNet, one of the biggest complaints by studio execs reading through television pitches is the lack of originality. He argues that 99 percent of the pitches that end up on his desk are so closely derived from shows already on the air that he feels personally insulted by them. Show ideas get passed on everyday, and there is always the next executive, but you could do without the reputation for having cliche pitches.


While coming up with your television idea, if you are finding it difficult to be original, make sure you do not plagiarize the work of another. Greater than the risk of being sued for your earnings, stealing the work of someone else may result in being blacklisted from the entertainment industry.

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