One of the most prominent pieces of feedback I’ve received about my TV pilot is this: what happens in the series? And how do we know? Why will we tune in next week?
Those are very good questions. And I know what happens in my series, but how do I show this in the pilot?
So, I turn to some of my favourite TV shows, past and present, and watch their pilots or think about their premises to get a sense of why I kept watching them.
I’ve discovered two things:
One – I really love police procedurals right now, and;
Two: I’m sold on engaging characters and a cool premise.
Assuming that not everyone is as easily pleased as I am, what is the hook?
One of my favourite TV shows is a little-known first season cancellation called Jake 2.0. It’s about a geeky tech support worker, Jake, who becomes infected with nanites at the NSA and then becomes a spy. It was fun and sweet and thrilling, but it suffered from being against Angel in its timeslot. I say that was one of the few reasons it was cancelled because Chuck waltzed in a couple of years later with basically the same premise and is still on the air. Go figure.
I pick it out as an example as it’s about a small team of military types with a secret weapon who go out and do cool stuff. Now, I just need to translate what I love about this show into what people could love about my pilot.
Pity I can’t simply cast Philip Anthony-Rodriguez.