interview: Theo Travers, CBS Writers Mentoring Program 2012

Theo and I met through Nickelodeon, which he mentions below, and also through the message board of the Yahoo TV writers group. He recently went through the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, and I’m SO happy he just got staffed! I think today was his first day!

Theo Travers is the newest staff writer on Showtime’s House of Lies.  He moved to Los Angeles four years ago after working as a television news reporter in Memphis.  Coolest moments include interviewing Barack Obama one-on-on and riding with undercover cops on drug and prostitution stings.  Theo’s writing earned him a coveted spot in the CBS Writer’s Mentoring Program earlier this year.  Prior to that, Theo optioned a one-hour pilot, “Thieves of Baghdad,” to Fox after being selected to participate in its Diversity Writer’s Initiative.  Theo also helped create a web series industry showcase for fellow NYU Tisch alum on the west coast.

The CBS Writers Mentoring Program requires a spec and original
material to apply. What did you submit?

I submitted an NCIS: Los Angeles spec and a piece of short crime fiction.  As of late, the program, for legal reasons, will only consider original material that is not a pilot.  I’ve seen some writers get tripped up on the idea that CBS asks for the two samples to also be similar in tone or theme.  Ideally, any writing you’re going out with feels uniquely yours in some ways and, as a result, similar in tone.

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