Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Television Writing

What do you really know about television writing?  I've noticed that people have a huge imagination about how to get into TV writing.  I've also seen people in Hollywood speak at seminars, pitch fests, etc. and give pretty bad advice about this.

I am constantly asked by new writers how they should sell their pilots. New writers also expect to write for TV series while living outside of Los Angeles.  WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?????

The people that tell you that either of the above are fine and that you can sell your new series pilot ideas in Hollywood are out and out wrong.

If you want to write for television series or even for movies and mini-series for television you absolutely must live in Los Angeles.  It won't even work if you live in Sacramento, San Francisco or Fresno.  You have to be here!  This is where your office would be.  This is where all of your meetings will occur.  This is where you will need to meet, pitch to and learn from television professionals.  They need to know who you are.  They need to know you can come to a last minute meeting.  They need to know if you might be one of those people who are perpetually late.  They need to know that you can deliver on time and with quality work.

The ammunition you will need is 3-6 spec TV scripts.  They must all be either comedies, drama.
family or sci-fi shows.  Take the writing classes in Los Angeles, because this is where the teachers are more likely to know what they are talking about.

Television is a fabulous medium.  It's constantly in need of fresh ideas, new writers and new episodes to be written quickly.  There's plenty of room for you if you are really good, can think on your feet and love the business.

If you want to know more, please send me your questions or set up a conference call with me.


I have a new class starting on August 18th, via the Screenwriters University, titled:



  1. Hi Michele,
    I live in NYC and was in LA. I have a pilot I've written and was going to pay a consultant about rewriting and then trying to get it optioned. If it's the only pilot I have, is it a waste of my time to pay a consultant at this point?

  2. Hi Dugan:

    I have to ask a question to answer your question.
    What other TV writing have you done? Did you work in TV when you lived in L.A.?

  3. No I didn't work in TV. I had a produced screenplay that was reviewed by the NY Times and then wrote several other screenplays and this pilot which haven't sold. The whole lit division I was rep'd by was let go a couple years ago and I haven't been rep'd since.

  4. My suggestion is that you should concentrate on your screenwriting career. It would be almost impossible to get a pilot produced without a great TV series background and while living in NY. Let me know if I can help via my consulting services on your film scripts. (www.michelewallerstein110.vpweb.com)

  5. I was thinking of taking the Breaking into Hollywood class you'll be teaching soon at Screenwriter U

  6. That's wonderful. I know you'll get a lot out of it. I demystify so much of the difficulties new writers have about getting agents, having the right material, dealing with people in Hollywood, and more. Let me know if you do sign up.