A well-judged, well-written proposal for a TV series will help capture the interest of producers and agents. It is a calling card, designed to promote your work and grab attention. However, the world of TV is competitive so try to make your proposal stand out. You must understand and communicate all aspects of the TV series, including markets and budgets. Simply having a good idea is not enough. You must convince TV producers that your idea is marketable and that the series will be a success.
- Skill level:
Spend time creating a memorable title that will intrigue the TV producer, for example, good titles include "Six Feet Under" and "Twin Peaks" in the United States and "One Foot in the Grave" and "Only Fools and Horses" in the UK.
Give the producers details about the genre of your TV series. Spell out whether it is a documentary, a reality series or a comedy series and tell how long the series will last and the length of each episode.
Provide a logline, a one-sentence summary of your TV series. Make this memorable. Include a synopsis of the TV series, too, consisting of a few paragraphs to describe it. Include information on the main characters and themes, if relevant.
Include information about possible locations, because a 10-part documentary about South Africa is a different budgetary proposition to a six-part documentary about local issues.
Make sure your written proposal is professional and easy to read. Include photographs and other illustrations only if they are relevant and could make your proposal stand out.
Tips and warnings
- Include a cover letter with your proposal. This should summarise the highlights of the proposal. Additionally, it connects you to the idea and should include a date.
- Your written proposal might not attract any attention, particularly if this is your first attempt. Keep trying.
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