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Successful Television Writing


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Introduction: So You Want to Write for Television. Chapter 1. Basic Preparation. Chapter 2. What is a TV Series. Chapter 3. The Four Act Structure. Chapter 4. Telling a TV Story. Chapter 5. The Spec Script. Chapter 6. What to Spec? Chapter 7. The Name is Morris, William Morris. Chapter 8. The Pitch. Chapter 9. How to Read the Producer's Mind. Chapter 10. What to Pitch. Chapter 11. You've Got the Assignment, Now What? Chapter 12. Your First Assignment. Chapter 13. We've Got a Few Notes. Chapter 14. Am I There Yet? Chapter 15. Becoming Rob Petrie. Chapter 16. Rewrites. Chapter 17. Your Really Great Idea For a Show. Chapter 18. I'm a Professional Writer, and I've Got the Card to Prove It. Afterword. Appendices. A. Plotting a Mystery: How We Wrote Diagnosis Murder. B. Diagnosis Murder Writers' Guidelines. C. Martial Law Writers' Guidelines. D. Martial La Pitch/Leave-Behind. E. Martial Law Beat Sheet. F. seaQuest 2032 Pitch/Leave-Behind. G. seaQuest 2032 Beat Sheet. H. Diagnosis Murder Beat Sheet. I. Diagnosis Murder Beat Sheet.

About the Author

LEE GOLDBERG and WILLIAM RABKIN are veteran "showrunners" whose executive producing credits include the long-running drama Diagnosis Murder and the action-adventure hit Martial Law. Their writing and producing credits also include SeaQuest 2032, Spenser: For Hire, Hunter, Baywatch, Sliders, The Cosby Mysteries, Monk, and Nero Wolfe, to name a few. Both are former journalists who covered the television industry for Newsweek, American Film, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, among others. In addition, Rabkin has directed episodes of Diagnosis Murder and has taught a popular television writing course at UCLA. Goldberg is also a mystery novelist (Beyond the Beyond, My Gun Has Bullets) and the author of a definitive book on television series development (Unsold TV Pilots). He has taught writing seminars in Seattle, Miami, Denver, and Edmonton, Canada.


"...Never dull, Successful Television Writing is a pleasure to read. This one goes to the top of my pile..." (The Write Stuff, February 2004)

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