How To Create & Pitch TV Show Ideas That Sell

Image source:

You know that feeling when we’re eagerly awaiting the next episode of our favorite TV show and all the excitement that runs through our veins? So do we. A good series must have such an effect. If you’re thinking about diving into making such a creation and you’re interested in being a part of its production, you must be aware that it isn’t an easy job – at all. There’s no doubt that talent and creativity are the basis of this. However, what’s unavoidable is to work out a couple of basic tricks of how to first present it, sell it and then make it popular all around the globe. This also leaves some space for making a good project that you can make money from if you attract the attention of the viewers.

The market is full of competition and the thing is clear – you have to find a way to stand out among them. With a good idea and knowledge of the ‘weak points’ of the audience… success is guaranteed. All that the spectators need is some comfort, a good TV aerial with the help of technical support such as so that they can enjoy the program without the hassle and – the show you’ll give to them. That’ll be your major accomplishment.

Having this in mind, we bring you a couple of pieces of advice on how to achieve this.

Be original

Image source:

Innovative ideas are always welcome. Investigate which television projects are trendy at the moment, what’s holding the audience’s attention, and what they’re reacting to.

Think about the genre that seems to be popular and lead the story in that direction. Try not to repeat and copy the shows that are already characterized as ‘seen’ and predictable. You’re free to find the source of inspiration in some previous achievements of this kind, but originality and creativity are the keys to success and are pretty irreplaceable.

Ask yourself if you would rather revive some historical story and educate the audience that way or create a fascinating science fiction series that will help people escape from reality for a moment. The choice is yours.


The title is something that should attract attention at first sight and that’s precisely why it has to be chosen wisely. It should arouse interest and send a message to the audience about what they should expect.

It shouldn’t be too long – if it is, there’s a slight risk of it being shortened by the television broadcaster, but also by the viewers themselves as they might be too lazy to pronounce it. Simplicity comes first. You remember ‘Friends’, right? Such a huge rating, so many awards and fans all over the world…  and the title is effective enough even though it contains only that one word. Therefore, make it clear and concrete.

Effective short presentation

Image source:

These items will determine the fate of your sale to the production company. Do your best to write a couple of sentences that will contain the essence of your project and idea. They must be specific and directly represent the plot or the main characters.

The goal is to interest the company during the very first reading. If you fail at that… then the marketing aspect of your show might fail too. Dedicating a lot of time to developing a good brief presentation in order for it to be effective and worthy of attention is absolutely crucial. Don’t take it lightly because, again –  you might fail.

Let’s take an example – a world-famous TV show ‘Breaking Bad’ would go like this: “After the news on being terminally ill, a renowned chemistry professor and a family man starts cooking crystal meth. His life’s moving in a completely different direction. ” Who wouldn’t want to know what happens here, right?

Good synopsis

A more detailed presentation of your idea is contained in the synopsis. You’ll write a description of your scenario on about ten pages. How the action takes place, the roles, the characters, the plot, the outcome… everything. Describe the emotional state of the main character and his inner struggles. Give examples of actions in individual episodes.

The point is the elaboration of the longline where you have already given a hint of what can be expected. Detailing too much isn’t recommended, as you don’t want to tell the whole story before someone sees the show. The focus must be on the crucial scenes and the most intriguing ones.

Think about characters

Image source:

The main characters carry the full weight of the TV show project on their backs. After the end of the series, they are remembered for the longest time and the audience becomes attached to them. No less important are the other, secondary characters. That explains the reason why it’s so significant to consider this step as the most serious task of the whole process.

Reserve a part of your script for this segment. List all the characters and write a short description of each one of them. Take care not to specify too much of their physical characteristics so as not to give headaches to those whose responsibility will be to hire the actors for such roles. Nevertheless, let their characters be clearly depicted in the end.

Write a pilot episode

To make sure that this could really work after completing the above items, write a pilot episode. All that we mentioned before were the parts of the preparation of the idea and the preparation for its presentation. This way, you can check how it would really look like. If you pass this test, you get even closer to the desired results.

Once you manage to sell it and the series starts broadcasting, that’s when this part comes rushes in. If the assessment and the comments of the whole team were good, it should keep a large audience in front of the screen. And you’ll know that everything was a complete failure if that doesn’t happen.

Analyze the target audience and the company you want to collaborate with

Image source:

The desire to broadcast a series on Netflix or HBO implies knowing the target group that would be interested in their content. Define which age groups or gender you want to present the project to. Do you want to reach vulnerable social groups, emotionally shaken people, heterosexual or homosexual people? Or everybody in this world? Another thing that you need to think about is the coverage that these companies can provide, as suggested by it isn’t the same number of people who are using aerials and cable TV providers. Think about that and about your goals, as well.

Also, consider the companies you plan to work with and present your idea to them. Find out about the projects they have already worked on, what results they have achieved, and what are the impressions of others who have also collaborated with them.

Verbal presentation

And finally, the time has come –  you need to enter a room with potential collaborators and present your idea that you have been working on so hard. Get rid of anxiety, take a stand but stay open to suggestions and criticism. Be prepared to face people who might not share your opinion on everything but don’t give up right away.

Find the same wavelength so that even if they don’t choose you, they can consider you for another occasion. Remember the most striking parts of the synopsis you wrote to keep their attention and enter the discussion with damn good arguments – that’s what you’ll be remembered for.