How to Sell a TV Show

If you have got lots of leisure time at your disposal and you are thinking lately of spending it in a productive manner, an option can be coming up with a great idea which can eventually be filmed to be the next great TV show. This will not only put you amongst the ranks of professional writers and concept developers, but will also bring lots of money to your bank account.

Having said all that, you need to realise that selling a TV show is not an easy thing to do. You need to be patient because it may take longer than you think to sell the TV show, no matter how great or conceptually strong your idea was. And then of course you need to be lucky in an old-fashioned manner.


  • 1

    First, you need to come up with the most important part of the TV show, the concept. Put the concept in words on around three sheets of paper. You should keep the concept to the point, avoid adding any unnecessary details but remember to cover all relevant aspects.

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  • 2

    After you are done developing the concept, you need to take care of your intellectual property rights. Register your concept with Writer's Guild of America (WGA). The concept that you submit will be assigned a registration number. You need to put this registration number on all documents related to the TV show from this point onwards.

  • 3

    A pilot script is the next thing that you need to write. A pilot script is a standalone written episode of the TV show and you will need to submit it to any television network interested in buying the TV show.

    In case you find writing a pilot script rather difficult, you can hire an expert to do it for you. Once you have the pilot script, get it registered as well.

  • 4

    Prepare a brief synopsis of the TV show. It is a very brief summary of the TV show, typically around 300 words. A perfect synopsis will describe all major events in the TV show from start to finish.

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  • 5

    Send copies of the synopsis to all production companies that you think may be interested in buying the TV show. This will start the query process. Remember to put the WGA registration code on all copies of the synopsis. If you do not know where to look for production companies and their relative contact information, use the Hollywood Creative Directory.

  • 6

    When you are contacted by a television producer, schedule a meeting to pitch the TV show that you plan on selling.

  • 7

    Before the meeting, make sure that you work on your pitch. You need to present the TV show as something which will rock the television industry. Spend as much time as you can on the pitch because that will be the deciding factor between the TV show being sold or rejected after your meeting with the television producer.

  • 8

    If the meeting is successful and the production company is willing to buy the TV show, finalise the contract details and sign it. It may be wise to hire an agent to negotiate the contract with the production company on your behalf.

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