Anatomy of a Pilot

SCRIPT 726.13

Learn what goes into a successful TV pilot.


What you can learn.

  • Learn why a pilot episode is the most critical part of writing a series
  • Get insight into what makes some pilots successful while others fail
  • Dissect network and cable pilots to identify character, theme, and structural elements
  • Explore how long-term character arcs and series mythology work in collaboration with the weekly franchise of the show

About this course:

A new television show has exactly one shot at survival: its pilot episode. If the viewer isn't grabbed in the first hour, they're gone forever. But what is a pilot? How is it different from all other forms of screenwriting? What makes a good one work and a bad one fail? And how can you be sure yours is one of the winners? In this intense, informative, and entertaining course, you learn everything you need to know about what goes into a winning pilot. By dissecting recent network and cable pilots; you examine character, theme, and structure; and discuss which pilots best launched their respective series. Emphasis is on identifying the common structural elements of all successful pilots, gaining an understanding of "weekly franchise" versus "series mythology," and crafting long-term character arcs.

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