nbc writers on the verge – week 6

MON 11/5/12

week 6! we’re already at the halfway point!

we met on monday instead of tuesday because of the election.

i worked on my outline from last week, and tried to flesh out the story and the characters. i came up with some new things that i liked, but there were other aspects that i still wasn’t that excited about.

during our notes session, jen, karen, and julie ann said they could tell i wasn’t passionate about this idea, which was absolutely true, so i decided to switch ideas and work on my office comedy instead. this sets me back 2 weeks now, but i think it’s worth writing something that i’m truly excited about.

for comparison, the other writers had their script pages for act 1 written out, and the rest in outline form. i need to catch up!

THU 11/8/12

we got to meet with 2 great people, someone from scheduling, and someone from research. they explained how the nielsen ratings work, how dvr has impacted the business, how they test new shows, and a whole slew of other topics. here are some highlights:

everything comes down to character.

the characters must be likeable.

in focus groups, they ask people if they would want to hang out with these people.

the 18 − 34 demographic is harder to reach now. before, the target was 18 − 49.

a mediocre single cam show will usually test better than a mediocre multi cam show. if there’s a laugh track over a joke that doesn’t work, it can be very off-putting.

for multi cams, it’s better to play it straight, not overly theatrical.

for single cam, there’s a danger characters can become too much like caricatures.

for comedies, it’s good to have a potential love interest/love storyline.
the office had pam and jim.
at first, parks and rec did not have that dynamic until ben came later.

originality of concept helps marketers sell your show. originality carries a bigger weight lately.

with pilots, make sure to stay consistent tonally.
no surprises, but story twists are good though.

testing is most useful to show what is working on a show so they can maximize it, and show what isn’t working so they can get rid of it.

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