How to submit a game show idea

Even placid TV viewers are not immune to the excitement of watching a contestant win a car, answer a question correctly or beat out a competitors on a game show. That's the magic of this genre where we see ordinary people display extraordinary knowledge or old-fashioned luck.

If you have a great idea for a TV game show, tips in this article will help get your foot in the door. Stop procrastinating, take action and your dream could become reality.

Conceive an outstanding concept that is simple and stimulating. Base your game show design model on seasoned, contemporary productions such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," "Jeopardy," "Wheel of Fortune" and "Family Feud." Determine the format: single contestant, duelling contestants or "three-podium" style. Study game shows religiously to become familiar with the pace and structure of a well-produced show.

Work out the kinks in your game show concept before pitching your idea. Ask friends and relatives to "play," so you can tweak the format to perfection. Find audiences that are not related to you to play the revised game show to make certain early critics were not just showing their love and support. Community groups, high school students or service organisations are all potential test audiences. Ask participants to fill out a response card so they can offer feedback about the experience. Use the information to make final revisions.

Decide which producers or game show development executives are in the best position to find a home with a network on your behalf. Find these resources using links to web sites (below), each of which is in business to help innovators get their ideas in front of movers and shakers. You can also look up contact information for agents, managers, producers and developers at bookstores, libraries and broadcast network web sites. Learn whether potential resources prefer written proposals or in-person sales pitches.

Pitch your idea by explaining how and why your idea is worth the money, time and energy required to produce a new TV game show. Prepare a step-by-step overview of how the game works so developers can reconstruct the format on their own when they evaluate it. Emphasise reasons why your concept will provide the dramatic tension a game show requires to be a hit. Add data on demographics if your idea is targeted to a niche market (e.g.: "Jeopardy for Seniors," the show that proves seniors are just as sharp as the younger crowd).

Follow through with your dream. Don't give up if one producer or developer turns you down. Move on to the next. Use feedback given to you by those who have critiqued your format and concept to improve upon the idea. Walk a fine line between staying in contact with game show developers and plaguing them with too many phone calls that can be perceived as annoying. Take a tip from those who have walked in your shoes: Believe in your idea enough to persist through rejections until you find a home for your game show.