TV Pilot – Action/Drama questions

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  • Hey everyone,
    I have a screenwriting question and this looks like the place to ask it. I have been working on a pilot for an Action/Drama series, and I’m concerned about the # of pages. Typical 60minutes shows are ~44 pages, right? But most pilots for this genre have 90minute-2hr premieres. I have more than enough material to make my pilot 88 pages, but I’m not sure which would be more ideal. 44 or 88?

    Thanks,
    Jacob

    If formatted properly, an act will end around the 44th page anyways. Ensure that there is a hook at the end of that act and a pilot can be 88 pages.

    Important thing to know is that tv stations don’t pick up shows to produce quality content, they pick up shows to sell ad space. That being said, it’s possible to get a two hour pilot on the series premiere, however if it cannot be divided into two stand alone segments either that episode will be divided without flow or never air again unless another special time slot can be opened up to air it.

    TV also enters the realm where page per minute doesn’t work because in film there is space to sway by 15-20min. TV must fill a 60min time slot with exactly enough time for full commercial minutes. It’s very possible that acts will be merged and 88 pages will fill a 44min time slot.

    I am in American who is taking your free complete Screenwriting Course.

    I have noted that there are currently a huge number of UK actors, writers, and producers working in the U.S.

    So, I am curious as to whether UK producers are interested in scripts from American writers? I am speaking primarily of scripts about Americans in America. I have virtually no knowledge of the UK or its people. For me to try to write about Britons, Scots, and Northern Irish would produce a laughable effort.

    On the other hand, I love Leap Year with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. I can think of a number of Americans-confused-in-the-UK or Americans-lost-in-the-UK, or Americans-sucked-into-UK-crime scenarios that would not necessarily require extensive background knowledge of the U.K. (I have ghost-written a novel about an Brit deeply involved in American organized crime business . Sorry. I can’t revealed either the name of the novel or the publisher because of confidentiality agreements I signed to get the project. The novel was written on behalf of a UK citizen.)

    What do you say? (Sorry. I can’t find another place to ask the question. I tried to e-mail it, but apparently I can’t add 16=16 correctly. It wouldn’t accept my answer.)

    The BBC has restrictions on scripts and teleplays written by non-UK writers. If you know a way to proceed with a great, not good, UK centered script, let me know.

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