How to write a compelling pitch for a reality show?
March 8, 2009 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Dear Hivemind: Where can I find examples of treatments for Reality TV shows?

I have experience writing treatments for film, so I'm already on the right track in terms of describing character or writing synopses... but I'm a bit at a loss as to what points must be hit, in what proportion and in what sequence in a Reality TV Treatment. I've worked in reality before and I'm fascinated by the genre, so I know what goes into a show similar to this. That said, I also know that I've never written a treatment for this format and I could really use some guidance.

Here's how I'm picturing it:
-expansion on logline (short paragraph)
-nuts and bolts stuff (length of season, length of episode, basic production premise, audience/market brief... too much? not enough?)
-background of the concept (establishing main characters and reasons why the show is being made and will be awesome)
-more detailed breakdown (consisting of...?)
-> season synopsis
-> episode breakdown
-> overall result of the first season and possibilities for subsequent seasons
-team bios
...all about ten pages of well-spaced text (with the first page created as a stand-alone one-sheet) before we add pictures.

I know I'm on the right track, kinda/sorta... but my uncertainty is having a negative effect on my creative process. Me? I'm a writer who's been given a great opportunity and a fascinating concept which I've been consulting on for a while. I'd rather not go boldly in the wrong direction on this, if you know what I mean! I think what I need is to see is some sample documents and/or get pointed to a book or article that breaks it down how the document is formatted in a general way.

Tips? Answers? Illumination of any sort? I'd really appreciate it. :)
posted by Elle Vator to Media & Arts (1 answer total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
That all sounds excellent. I don't think there's a standard format for reality show pitches yet. I'm not even sure there's a standard format for TV series pitches. I usually write the latter more or less the way you're proposing, but some people I know do a one-pager only.
posted by musofire at 6:57 PM on March 8, 2009

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