We're breaking story on a few possibilities for our second script. This is not necessarily meant to be our second episode, though it could be. Since the network wants our show as episodic as reasonably possible, it should be able to work as ep. #2 or ep. #5.
We have four stories broken from our bible to choose from. But while they're convincing episodes, and all explosive in their way, they may not make great second episodes. I feel that the job of the second episode is to prove the template. The first episode proves the series concept: yes, you can make a hell of an hour of TV out of this concept. The second episode, I think, needs to prove that you can take the characters and venue you've chosen, and make another convincing hour of TV.
Many of the stories we have in the can involve new core characters, or old core characters thinking about leaving the biz (and hence the show). Two of them take main characters home to their families. These are high stakes stories. But not the kind of episode you can do every week. We would probably want to punctuate the season with them.
So we came up with a new story that doesn't rely on any new characters.
And a B story that does rely on a new episodic
character, but that's okay: if you are not a soap, you'll need to bring in episodic characters to motivate your stories. On procedurals, you always have episodic characters: the clients on law shows, the crooks on cop shows, the patients on medical shows. And Lucy always met the nice man who was going to sell her new pots and pans, or whatever. So if we're not a soap, we're more like a procedural. So new rule: a second script shouldn't introduce any new core cast, but can introduce a few episodic characters as needed.
As opposed to a second episode, which might introduce any core cast you didn't get a chance to introduce in the pilot. On the show I co-created, for example, we didn't introduce Hunter until halfway through ep. 2. There were some arguments about whether that was a good idea; some thought she needed to be foreshadowed in ep. #1, others successfully insisted we didn't need to foreshadow. Of course, our American network changed that decision around by airing episode #2 first!
Let's see what the network thinks!