Episodic and Procedurals: Crafting The Original One-Hour Pilot

Schools of Public Engagement: Communication

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Episodic and Procedural

Spring 2021

Taught By: Lewis Payton

Section: A

CRN: 4007

Credits: 3

From period dramas like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire to fairy tale-inspired procedurals like Grimm to musicals like Smash and Glee, the diversity of shows on TV today is unprecedented. The industry is always innovating and looking for fresh ideas. This course begins with a guided analysis of contemporary network and cable pilot scripts, ranging from the serialized (Breaking Bad, Big Love, Mad Men) to the procedural (Grimm, Awake, Psych). Students examine the structures, episodic breaks, and essential elements of functional origin stories. They are challenged to identify the qualities of a script that make it special to viewers. A discussion of dramatic questions explored in the course of a series or season and of unique selling points follows. Each student devises a five- to ten-page treatment or pitch document describing an idea for an original series, including character breakdowns, a pilot synopsis and brief outline of the first season, a description of episode structure (A and B stories), and a statement of theme and tone. After these have been reviewed, students go on to write the first and second acts of their original scripts.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Communication (NCOM)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 19

Add/Drop Deadline: February 8, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 13, 2021 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:56am 7/1/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 1/19/2021 - 5/10/2021