This is a post from TV Consultant Joey, from a question she is often asked. Joey specializes in television…in case you couldn’t tell.
What TV Shows are Good Choices for a Spec Script?
For a spec script you want to use a popular show that is in its 1st or 2nd season. I would not recommend writing an Office or Grey’s (Anatomy) at this point for 2 reasons:
1) There are a million specs out there for those shows already.
2) The show is probably in its last couple seasons which means the life of your spec will not be long. You want to make sure your show is popular enough that even if someone doesn’t watch it they are still familiar with it and that it’s not been listed as “on the bubble” for renewal.
Ideally, if you write a spec for Modern Family or The Good Wife now, the shows will stay on the air for 6 or 7 more seasons and you will have a strong viable script that entire time.
It is always better to do a newer show — but make sure its ratings are solid. Maybe you loved Doll House and wrote the most amazing spec ever for it — but now it’s canceled and your spec is worthless. Choose something that is a ratings hit!
That being said, write a show you enjoy! A show you actually watch and would want to write for. It’s a lot easier and will be more fun for you! I have read many spec scripts where it’s obvious the writer doesn’t actually watch the show — they just watched one episode and googled some research. That insincerity often comes through. Don’t do it. Go for what you love.
Have a question for Joey? Post it below or if you’re shy, email her: TVconsultantJoey@gmail.com