How to pitch a Twitter profile as a sitcom?
October 19, 2011 4:09 PM   Subscribe

How do I pitch my comedy Twitter feed as a TV show?

I run an anonymous Twitter feed for entertainment purposes. I won't name the feed, both to preserve my anonymity and to prevent this question from looking like a Pepsi Blue.

The account gains followers every day. Unlike, say, @FakeAPStyleBook, which is just a series of gags, my feed is similar to @MayorEmanuel, which evolved into an actual plot and, eventually, and ending. My account now has characters and storylines, and several (non-industry) people have told me that the situation would make a good sitcom.

Screenplays and teleplays are easy things to pitch; you send it to an agent, or manager, or producer, and if they like it, you move forward. I know that, while first-time screenwriters get hired, first-time TV writers almost never are given their own series; the path to TV is to write a spec of an existing show, get hired on that (or another) show, and then work your way up.

But what happens where there IS no script? There's just the Twitter feed?

I was hoping that any Hollywood Mefites out there might have an idea of how to get the right person's attention. The model, I assume, is @ShitMyDadSays, which became a sensation in only a few weeks, got writer Justin Halpen interest from publishers, which got him an agent, who eventually got him a series on CBS.

Any ideas? Would the feed do better as a book first? Or would I have to write the whole idea up as a standard pilot, and then just mention in my cover letters "By the way, this idea is on Twitter and has thousands of followers"?

Thanks for your help. If anyone is in the entertainment industry and would like to learn more, throwaway email is
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As far as television goes, my experience is that execs would rather read original content these days.

Do you have friends in the industry? I think your best bet is to ask them to post your twitter feed to their facebook pages as much as possible. Let some hungry junior agent find you. They'll be much more interested if they think they've discovered a new sensation, rather than you coming to them hat in hand. I don't think you need to write it up as a spec yet, but I would put together a two page outline just so you're ready to go.
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:28 PM on October 19, 2011

Trust me, if it's good enough, TV execs will notice.

Otherwise, any chance you can write this as a feature film and go down the query route?
posted by smithsmith at 4:37 PM on October 19, 2011

How Sh*t My Dad Says made it, but not much, as it's cancelled. If you have over 500,000 followers, chances are good, some agent will notice.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:16 PM on October 19, 2011

If you're @dadboner, I would watch the show!

I would draft a sample episode based on your feed to have ready when/if asked. I would then try to promote the feed as much as possible. I would also try to find an agent to push the idea rather than approaching anyone directly.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:30 PM on October 19, 2011

I work in TV, and with examples like SMDS and Texts from Last Night, for example, it's been just a case of developing a lot of followers and being very funny. Agents, managers, development executives, writers and producers are always looking around the internet for potential material, and the solid, marketable premises rise to the top. I like the Facebook suggestion - getting word out and around as wide as possible could definitely come across the right pages. And if you do know anyone in the industry, reach out to them - roger is absolutely right - careers are made on finding the next SMDS on the interwebz.

As a sidenote, I've worked at networks, agencies and studios. It's very difficult to get through to the right people via cold mailing cover letters, specs or emails. At many of my companies, we couldn't read or address any material that didn't come from a known relationship (like an agent, manager or lawyer with whom we were familiar) for legal reasons.

Good luck!
posted by buzzkillington at 10:00 PM on October 20, 2011

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