In just ten years, reality TV has taken over much of the television landscape. Cheap and easy to produce, cable channels and networks alike are always clamouring for new reality show ideas. The process of having your idea heard and then produced can be convoluted and difficult, but if your idea is good enough to be bought and produced, it can be very lucrative.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
Refine you idea. You might have a great concept, but taking it from concept to TV screen is a big leap. Take some time to figure out the ins and outs of your concept and streamline it. The better thought out the idea, the better the show will be.
Register your idea with the Writer's Guild of America. By registering your concept with the WGA, you can prove that the idea is yours and when you had it. The entertainment industry is notoriously cutthroat, so do not risk sharing your idea before making a third party record of it. The process is simple. First go to www.wga.org and click the link 'Register Your Script'. On the next screen, click on 'Register Online'. Now, choose the material type that your idea falls into and fill in the necessary fields of the registry form. When you are done filling out the form, click continue and follow the prompts until your reality TV show idea is registered and your idea is protected.
Research reality TV producers. Learn about the different producers working in the industry and find people that produce content that meshes with your concept. Perhaps the best known reality TV producers are Mark Burnett and Jerry Bruckheimer. These two Hollywood power brokers have created and produced Survivor and The Amazing Race, respectively. If your idea meshes with their work, either might be a good choice to contact.
Mark Burnett 640 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049 310-903-5400
Jerry Bruckheimer 1631 10th Street Santa Monica, CA 90404 310-664-6260 jbfilms.com
Send out query letters to known reality TV producers. For the uninitiated, calling into a producer's office and requesting to pitch your idea might seem like the right route, but you should hold off until you have been granted an appointment or have been given permission to send it in written form. Most reality TV producers do not have time to sit and read piles of TV show ideas, so they require a query letter that details the project before they will even give permission for you to mail the full-length show treatment to them. Take the list of producers that you now have, and sell yourself and your idea to them in a one page letter. If your letter does not stand out, it will end up in the recycle bin.
Re-evaluate your idea. If there are no bites on the queries, sit down and re-evaluate your idea. Take the time to really think it through and see if your concept is actually production worthy. If you decide that it is, look into producing it yourself.
Submit a New Reality TV Show Idea
Tips and warnings
- Don't be discouraged. Rejection is a fact of life in creative and entertainment industries. If you don't believe in your work, nobody will.
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