How to Write a Proposal for Reality TV

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How to Write a Proposal for Reality TV
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A reality TV proposal summarises the concept of the show. Using a proposal, more often referred to as a treatment, you can pitch, peek the interest and even sell your reality television show concept to producers and networks. A reality television show treatment differs from other sitcom and drama show treatments in that the characters are often fluid. The cast may change from episode to episode or season to season, and if the show is in preproduction, you may not even have a cast that will fulfil the character synopsis.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Write "Title of Show:" and enter the title of the proposed reality show at the top. Two lines below, write "Author Name" and enter your name as the author or creator of the reality show concept.

    Title of Show: My Reality Concept

    Author Name: Jon Smith

  2. 2

    Enter "Reality Series" as the format of the television show.

    Format of Show: Reality Series

  3. 3

    Enter the WGA registration number next. For more information on registering your treatment with the WGA, see Tips.

    Reg. Writers Guide of America #: 5495495MFE

  4. 4

    Enter a Logline for the reality show concept. The logline is one or two sentences that briefly describe your concept. The logline is a short pitch similar to the show descriptions you find in “TV Guide.”

    Logline: "Meerkat Manor" meets "Jerry Springer." My Reality Show follows the life of three personable lions that live and fight in the Sahara Desert.

  5. 5

    Create the synopsis for your reality show. The synopsis is between three to seven paragraphs, and shouldn't extend past one or two pages in length. The synopsis should include where the show is taking place, the cast or types of characters or personalities, and the purpose of the show (for example, a look at a prison set in the middle of the Arizona desert or a family of circus performers travelling across Europe).

    The synopsis should be punchy, interesting and packed with verbs and other language that moves the concept off the page and into the imagination of the reader.

  6. 6

    Extend the synopsis. In addition, include a few sentences that briefly summarise what will happen in the first seven episodes. If the show is not filmed and there is no cast, explain what you predict will happen in the first several episodes based on the stereotypical personalities of the cast.

Tips and warnings

  • Register your treatment with the Writer's Guild of America (WGA). The WGA will protect your copyright and provide proof that you registered this reality show idea or concept, if necessary. You can register your treatment with the WGA online or by mail (see Resources). The cost is £13, as of 2010

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