THE $1,000,000 TV IDEA (Got an Idea? Learn to Sell & Produce Great Television)

 TWO RULES FOR ANYONE WITH A TV IDEA.

Rule 1 is that “No one owns an idea.”

If all you have is an idea (aka: a thought), you’re sure it’s bloody great, but are not mega-famous or mega-wealthy, then sadly it is best to just forget about it.

IDEA-1

(“No one owns an idea. Write it. Register it. Copyright it. Now you own something.”)

Why?

Because once you tell someone your idea you have literally just given it away for free.

You can complain and moan for the rest of your life about “They stole my idea” but no one can steal anything if the alleged owner doesn’t own anything.

Duh. So what to do?

Once you are stricken with a great tv idea, you instantly sit down, write it (start with a 3-page, double spaced Treatment), then register it with the Writers Guild (www.WGA.org) and, copyright it with the Library of Congress and now “you own something”... with documented proof (date of register or copyright) of the day-you-created-it.

Rule 2 is “If you ain’t wealthy, famous or have a track record don’t pitch it.”

Why?

Because, even though you own something, and it might be great, they, the Network or Studio Executive(s), is not going to listen to your “Pitch”, no matter how many “Pitch Workshops” or “Pitchathons” you’ve attended, and actually approve your “Pitch”, with a money commitment (key phrase is “money commitment”), for next stage of production development.

Why?

You have no track record of delivering.

Huh?

You have never even made a simple movie (90-100 minutes, with no running-time restraints nor commercial breaks) on a set budget and schedule; never-the-less deliver 4, 9, 13 or 22 television episodes, which need to be delivered every week, every week, every week, every week (“get the point”)… on a set-budget and must be made to the exact second.

You have no track record of delivering.

No Studio or Network Executive is going to approve your Pitch, with a money commitment, when you have no track record of delivering On-Budget and On-Schedule… for if the Executive approves your Pitch and then you don’t deliver On-Budget and or On-Schedule, which is very likely, that Executive will be fired within 3-minutes.

Duh. So what to do?

 

 WHO TO PITCH YOUR TV IDEA TO?

Have a great idea, write & register it, CYA, then partner (aka: Co-Produce) with either an established “ShowRunner” or “TV Writer” from a successful series who then, not you, pitches it to a Network Executive.

Writing-1

(“Pitch your TV idea, now in Treatment form, to a production company owned by an established TV Writer.”)

The established TV Writer (See Below) or ShowRunner, has his agent set a “pitch meeting” with networks (ABC, NBC, HBO, Showtime, Lifetime, A&E, etc.) and pitches the Development or Programming Executive, with his/her agent to back up the pitch, to receive money to either write a Bible, or Pilot Script or go directly to Pilot Production.

Now, the programming or development executive, assuming he/she loves your idea, feels comfortable approving money to the established tv writer or showrunner, for if the series fails the executive has not lost his job.

Duh. So how do you get a list of TV Writers or ShowRunners.

Simple. I’ve done the work for you. I actually cherry picked, just keep reading (See Below) and you will find a list of the Top 10 new talent TV Writers with track records of success.

 

TOP 10 TV WRITERS: NEW FACES

Below are 10 new faces, with Agents/Managers/Attorneys, that have proven they can write and make successful tv, whom you should partner.

 

(1) DAVE ANDRON

TV SERIES: “SNOWFALL” (FX Network)

AGENT: CAA

LAWYERS: Hansen, Jacobson & Teller

 

(2) ISAAC APTAKER & ELIZABETH BERGER

TV SERIES: “THIS IS US” (NBC)

AGENT: VERVE

MANAGER: MANAGEMENT 360

LAWYERS: Hansen, Jacobson & Teller

 

(3) JOHN CARCIERI

TV SERIES: “THE LAST O.G.” (TBS)

AGENT: UTA

LAWYERS: Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer

 

(4) LIZ FLAHIVE & CARLY MENSCH

TV SERIES: “GLOW” (Netflix)

AGENT:  WME

MANAGER: Larry Shuman

AGENT: Ira Schrec

 

(5) ERICA SHELTON KODISH

TV SERIES: “BEING MARY JANE” (BET)

AGENT: CAA

MANAGER: Industry Entertainment

LAWYER: Bruce Gellman

 

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(“”When you are ready to launch your Producing, Writing, Directing or Filmmaking career either of my 3 superb film programs ($89-$389) are avilable…. www.WebFilmSchool.com.”)

 

(6) MONICA MACER

TV SERIES: “QUEEN SUGAR” (OWN)

AGENT:  ICM

MANAGENT: Rain Management

LAWYERS: Del, Shaw, Moonves & Tanaka

 

(7) SALLIE PATRICK

TV SERIES: “DYNASTY” (CW)

AGENT:  WME

MANAGER: Anchor Media

LAWYER: Wendy Kirk

 

(8) FRANKIE SHAW

TV SERIES: “SMILF” (Showtime)

AGENT:  UTA

LAWYER: Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer

 

(9) JOEY SLAMON

TV SEIES: “I’M SORRY” (TRU TV)

AGENT: Gersh Agency

LAWYER: Peter Nichols

 

(10) LON ZIMMET

TV SERIES: “LA TO LAS VEGAS” (Fox)

AGENT:  UTA

MANAGER:  Rise Management

For all contact names, e-mails, addresses and phone numbers there are numerous sites on the web.

 

You want $1,000,000 for an idea?

Then keep reading.

 

 

THE $1,000,000 TELEVISION IDEA.

The Pot of Gold in the television/cable world is to produce a series (Half-Hour Sitcom or One-Hour Drama) that runs for 4-5 years and accumulates 60-100 episodes.

Pot of Gold?

Yes. If you own a tv series, with 60-100 episodes (4-5 years), it now has a new revenue stream from selling (aka: licensing) it to the re-run, syndication and foreign tv markets.

Pot of Gold?

OK. How much?

MovieMoney-2

(“Off-Network TV series, once syndicated, sell for $100 Million to $2 Billion”.)

After 5 years a 60-100 episode tv series now has a bonus value of $100-$300 Million. Yes that is Million.

And if you own just 1% of the “Back-end”… 1% of  $100,000,000 is $1,000,000.

Not bad for just having an idea, writing a Treatment, and pitching to a ShowRunner or TV Wwriter.

Plus, if the series is so successful, like “FRIENDS”, “LAW & ORDER”, “EVERYONE LOVES RAYMOND” “TWO AND HALF MEN”, “X-FILES”, “MAD MEN”, etc. and goes for 8-10 years and warehouses 200 episodes you now have an asset valued at $1,000,000,000-$3,000,000,000 (Yes B… Billions).

And 1-3% of the “Back-end” is $30-90 Million.

That’s $30,000,000 to $90,000,000.

Now get an idea, write & register the treatment, partner with a Showrunner or TV Writer, take a Co-Producer credit and 1% of the “Back-end”.

…Got any tv ideas?

 

 

Happy Filmmaking,

Dov Simens / Dean / Hollywood Film Institute

 

 

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One comment on “THE $1,000,000 TV IDEA (Got an Idea? Learn to Sell & Produce Great Television)”

  1. GREAT info!

    Thank you. I am a former producer who was responsible for three local Emmy awards in LA and Chicago. I have written nine screenplays for film and television and have yet to contact anyone about them.

    This is invaluable information. I am interested in your mentoring.

    Patrick Hurley
    Orange County, CA

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