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  1. Mist Walker
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    Mist Walker Member

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    Standard Television Formats

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mist Walker, Jan 10, 2011.

    On the BBC WritersRoom site, it says:

    "Always be specific about what kind of drama you are writing, where in the schedule it might fit, and what kind of audience it might reach. Is it a continuing, prime-time soap in thirty-minute episodes? A returning crime series in sixty-minute episodes? A six-part, post-watershed serial? A pre-watershed, sixty-minute single drama? Remember that writing for established formats isn't the same thing as writing to a formula – an established format allows for individual expression, but it's hard to be individual when writing to a perceived formula."

    But it doesn't actually cover what formats there are. I was wondering if somebody could fill me in on this?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you tried the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2011 - I haven't read the section but there is one on scripts for television.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    bbc's site used to have a format guide somewhere on it... should still be there...

    you can also download actual scripts, to see how it's done... i doubt they're much different in the uk than the us, so you can email me for info on how to write for tv and links to scripts...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  4. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    I think really all there asking is do you have a clear outline of your piece.

    If you look at the type of programs that they create now then most of them have six to eight episodes per series and they have the episode times quite defined;
    Comedy is normally 30 minutes.
    Drama is normally 60 minutes.
    Documentary is normally 60 minutes.
    Entertainment is normally 30 minutes.
    Doctor Who is the exception at 45 minutes, but that's only so that they can sell it to the American networks who will add in adverts.

    You can pretty much write anything as long as it fits within those series and episode constraints.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not really... there is a very specific format to be followed in writing scripts... and if you don't format them according to the norm, you're not going to be taken seriously...
     

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