Here’s a HUGE mistake aspiring producers make when pitching what they think are viable TV series: they pitch profile pieces instead. It’s something we’ve seen a rash of in the past few months, and we want to help you avoid this mistake immediately. Not kidding — we just passed on at least 40 or 50 projects that made the mistake we’ll help you remedy today. After today’s post, you will pitch TV series, and never, ever again accidentally pitch a profile piece disguised as unscripted television show.
Want to Pitch TV Series? Get This One Thing Right:
Don’t pitch a story that could show up on 20/20, 60 minutes, Entertainment Tonight, or the local news.
Short, self-contained, entertaining stories are essentially profile pieces. Some simple examples:
- A homeless man who turned his life around
- An athlete who overcame a disability to win a gold medal
- An interesting annual competition that’s just around the corner…
You could see any one of those stories on a magazine-style news show.
None of them, in and of themselves, are pitchable as TV series.
It’s not that a profile piece can NEVER become a TV show, it’s that a profile piece alone will NEVER be enough if you want to pitch TV series.
For example, one of our current TV series, Ghost Inside My Child, began as a profile piece on the local news in Cleveland, Ohio. However, using some of the techniques mentioned in today’s episode, we turned it into a TV series that’s now going into its third season.
How To Develop a Profile Piece to Pitch a TV Series
Just some of what we cover today:
- How to spot a profile piece early on and the right way to course correct
- Truly grasping the difference between a glorified profile piece and TV series pitch
- Two things you must do to elevate a profile piece if you want to pitch it as a TV show
- Finding larger phenomenons in smaller profile pieces
- The 22 and 44 minute dilemma
- What the movie Armageddon has to do with any of this
- Props to all your Moms out there!
And so much more!
Don’t make the same mistake we’ve JUST seen made by so many aspiring producers. Hit the giant “PLAY” button above and never pitch a simple “profile piece” again.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
What’s a Story Engine and Why do you Need One? – A giant step to pitch TV series instead of profile pieces.
Sell Film and TV by Crafting Your Second Hook – If you want to pitch TV series, yoru second hook is crucial.
How to Pitch a Reality Show – the totally free, most in-depth web guide on pitching a reality show you’ll ever read. If you want to pitch to us, this guide tells you everything you need to know.
Okay, since you now know how to pitch TV series and not profile pieces, you’re way ahead of the game. Here’s what’s next:
Sign up for our newsletter and you'll learn how to submit your unscripted concepts to us. You'll also learn how to develop, pitch, and sell reality TV shows and documentary series, and improve your filmmaking skills. From time to time we'll even tell you exactly what kind of shows we're looking for: