Comedy Writing for Television

Started on August 3, 2021

Who doesn’t love comedy? Wait…who doesn’t love to laugh? Exactly…the landscape of situational comedy has been a constant throughout the years even with the introduction of dramedies, new networks, new trends, and more. From MARTIN AND MARRIED WITH CHILDREN all the way to BLACKISH and THE GOOD GIRLS, there will always be a place for classic comedy moments, fresh ideas, and beloved characters that come back week after week (or an hour after hour if you binge all at once), many of those birthed by new emerging writers. This class will help you bring your great idea for a sitcom to life and your pilot script to go with it….but first, you have to write that pilot. And you can’t win a championship without a playbook. This webinar will get you to the championship by teaching you how to set up the world, get your audience attached to your characters, and how to make sure you include enough jokes while still having a fresh story that hasn’t been seen before.  

TEACHER will break down how to write a great sitcom pilot that can build your world, show your style, and appeal to both executives and audiences. You’ll learn the difference between premise-based and character-based sitcoms, how to find the balance between jokes and story, the proper structure of a sitcom pilot, episodic vs. serialized, and if cold opens and tags are still a thing…and if you do it right, you’ll also learn how to make your friends and family laugh…just kidding, they’re really your biggest critics.

What You’ll Learn

    • What is a pilot?
    • What Is the Tone of Your Sitcom?
    • Where does your show lie on the comedy spectrum?
    • The tightrope balance between comedy and drama

Premise Based Vs. Character Based Sitcoms

    • Examples of both.
    • Making your pilot “personal.”

Jokes vs. Story

    • Is there such a thing as too many jokes?
    • When to be funny and when not to.

Structure Of A Sitcom Pilot

    • Does length matter?
    • Are commercial breaks still a thing?
    • Cold Opens/Tags
    • Episodic vs. serialized.

Writing Your Sitcom Pilot

    • How best to open
    • Establishing your thesis
    • Using your POV/voice.

The Anatomy Of A Scene

    • The beginning, middle, end.
    • Zeroing in on your emotional throughline
    • How to raise your stakes

Effective Characters

    • Common pitfalls to avoid falling into when building your characters
    • How to make your characters feel and sound real

Establishing Your World

    • Setting up future episodes/the series.
    • What details or scenes can you save for future episodes?
    • How to pack everything neatly into your script.

Case Study: (PICK SCRIPT) pilot

    • TEACHER will dive into the pilot script for (SCRIPT) and analyze why it works
    • All attendees will receive a free download of the (SCRIPT) pilot script

Q&A with TEACHER

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