Pitching is hard work, and you don't want to waste your energy talking to a development executive who simply doesn't produce the kind of show you're offering. That is, unless you really like to collect rejections, or "passes", in development lingo. So here's how to figure out who you should approach:

  • Watch as much TV as possible. Why? Because it's important for you to get familiar with the style of different networks and production companies. You want to be sure that you're approaching the right home for your project.

  • The growth of cable TV has meant that there are more homes for possible TV shows (HBO, USA, Showtime, A&E, and Lifetime all have original TV series), but most broadcast and cable networks do not accept unsolicited submissions. So unless they asked you first, you must approach them through an agent or attorney.

  • Another tactic is to try to approach production companies directly (instead of the network). Regularly watch the end credits of programs you like. Notice the name of the executive producer? Write him/her a letter inquiring about procedures for reviewing new projects. Listings of production companies that handle new projects are also in The Hollywood Creative Directory.

  • Do market research. Be prepared to explain WHO the target audience is for your planned program, and WHY your idea will appeal to them. You can conduct grassroots research without performing a grim statistical analysis, but you need something. In doing all of this research, you must always read the "trades." These are the well-established industry magazines, such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW pitch a TV show?