nickelodeon writing fellowship – next spec is parks and rec

i handed in the final draft of my robot & monster script, and am ready to start my next script. we’re at an interesting point in the fellowship where one of several things can happen in the next few weeks:

  1. we might be able to sit in on the writers rooms for the shows we just wrote specs for. in my case, robot & monster.
  2. we might be able to work with an EIC (executive in charge) and write a spec of a nickelodeon live action show.
  3. if one of those 2 things don’t happen right away, we can work on a new spec script.
  4. or we can write a pilot script. because a pilot will take a long time to develop and write, we also have to write a spec at the same time.

i want to write a pilot (which i’ll write about later), and for my new spec, i decided to go with parks and recreation.  i’ve already written specs of the office, 30 rock, and community, so i guess i’m basically writing specs for all of nbc’s thursday night line up.

i went to the  parks and rec panel this week at paley fest. the moderator commented that the show at first wasn’t that well received, but then it found its legs and got really funny. amy poehler responded by saying (i’m paraphrasing) that’s like someone saying your baby was ugly but now it’s cute. ha ha.

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  1. If you had fun doing an Office spec. You’ll enjoy doing your parks and rec spec.
    What about the big bang theory? Do you like CBS comedies?
    I worked backwards. I did big bang, parks and rec, and community. Now I need something else to spec. Maybe I’ll do a 30 rock. I don’t like modern family and I Can’t do an office with Steve carell leaving.

    Btw did nickelodeon set you guys up with an agent or manager.
    Thanks kiyong.

    1. hey rick. for cbs shows, i do like big bang but i was worried about the science angle, and i already wrote a spec for how i met your mother. they do mostly multi camera shows and i prefer single cam. i like modern family but i think too many people are writing that one right now. as for agents or managers, we are not allowed to get any representation until after the fellowship.

  2. Hi, Kiyong,

    I’m writing a Parks and Recreation script to submit to several network writing fellowships. I am confident about the quality of my material, but I wanted to get your opinion about whether my lack of experience will affect my chances at these fellowships, even if I am very careful with regard to show structure, script format, et cetera. I don’t currently live in LA, but I would move there were I accepted to a program. Do networks’ fellowships differ in how accepting they are of writers with little to no showbiz experience? Are some programs geared more towards newbies? Lastly, thanks for posting that link to Parks and Recreation scripts–I’d been unable to find any.


    1. hi sarah,
      i know the disney writing program wants people who have some experience in the entertainment industry. if i remember correctly, it’s a requirement stated on their application or their website, but it didn’t always used to be. i went to a panel where the disney people said they feel people have a better chance of succeeding in their program if they have industry experience, know some of the etiquette, and have paid their dues. i’m not sure about the other writing programs. i’m sure it couldn’t hurt, but i don’t think it’s a requirement. i know it isn’t for nickelodeon because i had zero experience in entertainment. i’m not sure what you mean when you ask if the programs are geared towards newbies. i think all the programs are for people who can already write at a certain level and are ready to break in, but may not have industry connections. they are not training programs that teach you how to write. i hope that helps!

  3. Kiyong,

    Your blog is an excellent resource for any screenwriter/potential fellowship-candidate and I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I’ve been thinking more about having to write for a show I’m not interested in, and whether or not I can pull that off. I appreciated what you wrote about your experience w/the Cougar Town spec and feel like what I have to do is just treat it like a job (which it is, of course) and not worry about it the way I would about an original idea I was passionate about. My love is film but I do want to take advantage of opportunities in TV as I work toward writing features.

  4. Hi again Kiyong,

    I’m getting ready to submit my Parks and Rec for the Nick Fellowship. I’ve read a lot of bad Parks and Rec specs online and that really boosts my ego. In the other direction, could I read your 30 rock to see what a “winning” spec looks like?

    Thanks either way! RJ

      1. Of course. Done. I’ve–I guess the best way to put it is–“re-broke” all the produced episodes I could with the 6 or 8 Parks and Rec scripts found online. I carded ’em all. Color coded the A,B,C and D/Runner. Goldilocks-ed ’em. Outlined ’em. I love it. Like I said, I’m purely interested in reading an actual spec that won a Nick Fellowship. No worries. Just curious. Thanks and continued success.

        1. that’s great you went through all that work to break down those scripts! i’m sure it’ll serve you well, and it’ll help you understand the structure on a deeper level. best of luck!

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