Are Networks Buying Bibles?Complications Ensue
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I note that in 2006 you said no one writes/uses series bibles anymore and also went on about show runners, etc. In this day of so many cable networks, Netflix, etc., all competing for original content would you say that maybe that has changed? I had read a while back that Netflix was actively soliciting for more new content. I am wondering if all these competing networks may have opened the gates a little to let in and review new writers. I also want to ask if there are accomplished and well known show runners who may be looking for new things and how would we find them. 
I have written a series bible and a pilot episode with a professional writer who has done a lot for other writers, but has no screen credits. I am satisfied we have everything properly formatted.  
I have a connection with an agency through the family and have been told they would look at our screenplay when ready even though they do not work with unproven writers. I am preparing for an alternate course if they can not do anything for us.
First of all, you have an agency to go to, so that's a good first step. If they think they can sell your stuff, they'll take it on.

Yes, there are more networks looking for material. However, they generally still want an experienced showrunner attached to the material. Otherwise, who's going to run the show? They don't want to buy an idea, they want to buy an idea along with someone to execute.

I still don't think anyone buys bibles as such. That's because a bible is just a bunch of promises. To see if the show works, there has to be a pilot script. In certain cases (e.g. Canadian TV, animation), an experienced writer can sell a pitch and then get paid to write a pilot.

You have a pilot script, so if you get an agent, she can go out with it. If you sell it -- a long shot even for an experienced writer! -- they'll still put a showrunner they trust over your head. But you get a pretty decent payday even if all you do is share a Created By credit, and get royalties for each episode, and demand to be on staff.

How do you find a showrunner? Your agent approaches showrunners who have production companies, and who are looking for material. It's her job to know who these are.

It's going to be hard to approach showrunners without an agent. But you can try. Look up the credits for a show you like. Find out who the Executive Producers are. See if there's a production company associated with one of them. (Often there's an animated logo for the production company at the end of each episode.) Google that production company. Find out their contact info, and contact them.


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