Getting an Agent to Read Your TV Pilot

Turns out, I’m not the only one who gets email.  The other day, Joey – resident television expert here at ScriptDoctorEric.com – answered a question on query letters and pilot scripts.  I’ve posted that question and her answer below.*  Hope it helps!  -Eric

A reader asked:

My friend and I created an animated television series perfect for Nickelodeon.  In order to pitch to Nick, you have to have an agent, and in order to get an agent you must have an excellent query letter.  What is the proper format to write a great query letter?

I wrote the pilot script, but do you have any tips on how to get an agent?  Most of the ones I called won’t accept my work.

Thanks,
Chasing Nickelodeon**

Dear Chasing,

Thanks for the email.  This is a link to an article on the topic by Script Doctor Eric.  I think it should answer your question about query letters:

www.scriptdoctoreric.com/popular/how-to-write-a-query-letter

As for “how to get an agent,” I always suggest in your query letter instead of just asking if they want to read the script, ask if they would be willing to read a 3-5 page synopsis.  Often readers are willing to read a document that’s going to take less than 5 minutes of their time.

And obviously, write an AMAZING synopsis.   That allows an agent to get a sense of your writing and the project without investing in an hour to read a script by an unknown writer.  And then if they like your writing and feel like the project is right for them — they will request the entire script.

So send your query letter.  Wait about 10 days — then call to follow up if you don’t hear back.

When you do follow up, be SUPER FRIENDLY and personable.  Whoever answers the phone probably has the power to request your project.

Another tip: Don’t try to talk to the agent.  Instead, befriend the assistant.   Ask to email the 3-5 page synopsis.  Be enthusiastic and upbeat.  I’ve been the assistant answering the phone — how you treat him/her will almost always decide whether anything gets passed on the agent.  🙂

Hope that helps!

-TV Script Doctor Joey

(Ask Joey a question about TV writing or anything else: joey@scriptdoctoreric.com)

* Both the question and response have been edited to protect the innocent.  And for readability.
** Not the author’s real name.  See previous footnote (above).

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