Every TV show that's on the air was an idea in someone's head at one point. and then, it was a pitch that they delivered. A pitch that inspired others to join in on the idea and to get it on the air.

As an aspiring writer or producer, you may have a fantastic idea for a television show. But how do you get your idea from your mind into the hands of the decision-makers at networks like Netflix or a traditional network?

The process may seem daunting, but with the right knowledge, tools, and techniques, you can learn how to pitch a show to Netflix or any other network. I wanted to work out a way you can get your pitch ready before you actually pitch it.

Let's dive in.

6 Essential Ways to Prep Your TV Pitch for Studio Execs'Succession'Credit: Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

Preparing Your TV Idea for Pitching

Before you can learn how to pitch a TV show, you need to have a solid foundation for your idea. This means that you should have a clear vision of your show's premise, characters, and overall story arc. The more fully realized your idea is, the easier it will be to pitch it to network executives.

Start by brainstorming ideas for your show's plot and characters. Consider what makes your idea unique and why it would appeal to viewers. Think about how your show will fit into the current television landscape and whether it fills a niche that is currently underrepresented. Once you have a clear vision for your show, you can begin to flesh out the details and create a more comprehensive picture of your concept.

6 Essential Ways to Prep Your TV Pitch for Studio Execs'Bel-Air'Credit: Peacock

Writing a Compelling Logline

Let's start with the easiest piece of prep work. Do you have an idea? It's time to make it into a logline.

A logline is a one or two-sentence summary of your show's premise that captures the essence of your story. It should be clear, concise, and intriguing, as it will be the first thing that network executives see when they review your pitch. A well-crafted logline can make the difference between a pitch that gets tossed aside and one that gets a closer look.

To write a compelling logline, start by identifying the central conflict or hook of your show. This should be the driving force behind your story and the main reason that viewers will want to tune in. Next, consider your show's protagonist and their goals. How do they fit into the central conflict, and what obstacles will they face along the way? Finally, think about the tone and style of your show. Is it a dark drama, a light-hearted comedy, or something in between? Your logline should reflect the overall feel of your show.

Once you have all of this information, you can begin to craft your logline. Remember to keep it short, simple, and engaging. Use strong, active language, and avoid using jargon or industry-specific terms that may be confusing to network executives. The goal is to pique their interest and make them want to learn more about your show.

6 Essential Ways to Prep Your TV Pitch for Studio Execs'Outer Banks'Credit: Netflix

Crafting a Captivating Synopsis

You have a sentence that encapsulates your story. Now we expand on that and write a synopsis.

A synopsis is a brief summary of your show's plot, characters, and overall story arc. It should provide a clear and concise overview of your idea, giving network executives a sense of what your show is about and why it would be a good fit for their network. A captivating synopsis can help you to stand out from the competition and make your pitch more memorable.

Start by focusing on the main elements of your story. What are the key plot points, and how do they connect to create a compelling narrative? Consider your show's setting and how it contributes to the overall tone and style of the series. Think about the main characters and how they develop over the course of the show, as well as any secondary characters that play a significant role in the story.

As you write your synopsis, be sure to keep it concise and to the point. Avoid going into too much detail or including unnecessary information, as this can make your synopsis feel cluttered and difficult to follow. Instead, focus on providing a clear and engaging overview of your show that will leave network executives wanting to know more.

Character is king in TV writing. You are going to watch these people for multiple hours.

What makes them interesting and compelling?

Barry_-_which_is_the_better_fight_sequence'Barry'Credit: Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

Developing Memorable Characters

One of the most important elements of any successful TV show is its characters. Develop strong characters. Memorable, well-developed characters can make your show stand out and keep viewers coming back for more.

When pitching a TV show, it's essential to demonstrate that you have a strong understanding of your characters and their motivations. They make your show seem castable and show that it has legs. Legs mean it can survive for multiple seasons.

To develop memorable characters, start by creating detailed character profiles. These should include information on each character's background, personality traits, relationships, and goals. Consider what makes each character unique and how they contribute to the overall story. Think about how your characters will evolve over the course of the series and how their arcs will intersect with one another.

When presenting your characters in your pitch, focus on their most compelling and unique aspects. Show network executives that you have fully fleshed-out characters that will resonate with viewers and drive the story forward. Additionally, be prepared to discuss how your characters will develop over the course of the series and how their individual arcs will contribute to the overall narrative.

6 Essential Ways to Prep Your TV Pitch for Studio Execs'Ted Lasso'Credit: Apple TV+

Pitching Techniques and Best Practices

There are lots of different opinions on whether or not you need a pitch deck or other visuals. I think they're cool, but maybe only necessary if you're a director.

Now that you have a solid foundation for your pitch, it's time to learn how to pitch a TV show effectively. Here are some pitching techniques and best practices to help you present your idea with confidence and professionalism.

Basically, these are things you should do before taking your pitch wide.

  1. Practice makes perfect: Rehearse your pitch multiple times before presenting it to network executives. This will help you to become more comfortable with the material and allow you to speak more confidently and naturally when it's time to pitch.
  2. Tell a story: When pitching a TV show, it's essential to engage your audience and make them feel emotionally invested in your idea. One way to do this is by telling a story that captures their attention and keeps them interested. Use vivid language and imagery to help network executives visualize your show and become excited about the possibilities.
  3. Be flexible: While it's important to have a clear vision for your show, it's also important to be open to feedback and suggestions from network executives. Listen to their concerns and ideas, and be willing to make changes to your pitch if necessary. Remember that the goal is to create a show that is appealing to a wide audience and fits the network's brand.
  4. Be confident: Confidence is key when pitching a TV show. Be sure to speak clearly and confidently, and maintain eye contact with the network executives. Demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for your project, and be prepared to answer any questions they may have about your idea.
  5. Keep it short and sweet: While it's important to provide comprehensive coverage of your idea, it's also important to keep your pitch concise and to the point. Network executives have limited time and attention spans, so be sure to focus on the most important aspects of your show and avoid rambling or going off on tangents.

6 Essential Ways to Prep Your TV Pitch for Studio Execs'Lost'Credit: ABC

Utilizing Feedback for Improvement

Practice your pitch on anyone who will listen. Seriously. Get feedback.

You don't have to take it all, but it definitely helps you find your moments and know what to highlight.

After pitching your TV show, it's important to utilize feedback from network executives to improve your idea and increase your chances of success. Listen carefully to their feedback and take notes on their suggestions and concerns. Be open to making changes to your pitch and show concepts based on their input.

When incorporating feedback, be sure to keep the core elements of your idea intact. Don't make changes that compromise the integrity of your story or characters. Instead, focus on making tweaks that will improve the appeal of your show and make it more marketable to a wide audience.

Do the stuff you think makes your show better. It's that simple.

6 Essential Ways to Prep Your TV Pitch for Studio Execs'Rap Shit'Credit: Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

Unlocking Your Full Potential When Pitching a TV Idea

Last year, I think I pitched two TV shows. Neither of them went. That's the way it goes. This year, I got hired on one by a friend who practiced his pitch on me about a dozen times.

I learned a ton from those experiences.

Pitching a TV show can be a challenging process, but with the right preparation, tools, and techniques, you can increase your chances of success.

By focusing on comprehensive coverage, crafting a compelling logline and synopsis, developing memorable characters, creating a strong visual presentation, and utilizing feedback for improvement, you can create a pitch that stands out from the competition and captures the attention of network executives.

Good luck, and happy pitching!