top of page

Creative Process Timeline for PILOTS

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

The "Creative Process Timelines" that I have constructed over the course of my career  have helped me accept which stage of the writing process I am at on any given project. They help me to see the road I am on and to not get overwhelmed by any one particular stage because I know I have to trust the process and just keep going forward.

 I have previously posted my "Creative Process Timeline" in reference to features (just search in the search bar).  The Creative Process Timeline for writing television is different.  Television truly is its own animal.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Perhaps I will do a Q and A zoom dedicated to pilots sometime in the future. 

*I am also attaching my previous post on the difference between television and features and the most important thing you need to do before you write a pilot.   

TELEVISION PILOT: Creative Process Timeline

Step One:  Get an idea for a great TV show.

Step Two:  Figure out the most important thing you must figure out before you go any further: what is the franchise/the concept/the question of the series that will produce five seasons.  Don’t know? Don’t go any further till you figure it out. It’s not worth it. Dear God, it’s not worth it.

Step Three:  Decide if it’s a network show or paid cable/streaming. This will affect the way you structure.

Step Four:  Decide its length: Half Hour/Hour.

Step Five:  Decide which character’s points of view you will be following and who’s the lead. Yes, someone has to be the lead.

Step Six:  Begin plotting - carding out each POV (storyline) separately.

Step Seven:  Integrate your storylines into one cohesive outline.

Step Eight:  Write your pilot. Then have a reading with trusted artists. Then rewrite your pilot based on trusted notes. Then show it to the rest of the world and be prepared to receive notes upon notes that will make no sense to you on how to address them or even IF they should be addressed… UNLESS you didn’t skip step two.

If you have the answer to step two, you will know which notes apply and which buyer sees your vision for the show (because you will know clearly what your vision is).


63 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page