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Complications Ensue:
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Monday, April 02, 2007

My recent post on spec scripts prompted the usual slew of questions about whether one should spec this or that show.

I don't know.. I am not currently trying to write a spec script, so I haven't done the research. Which means I'm just guessing. Shows go in and out of favor as a spec. As Shawn noted in an earlier post, Cold Case is out. Criminal Minds is in. Go figure why.

So I would like to ask those blog readers who have agents to do a bit of homework for us. Please ask your agent's assistant what the hot specs are these days, in general. And post the answer in the comments.


PS There is the ongoing question whether you should spec an episode or a pilot. My feeling is you need one of each these days. I wouldn't hire someone if they couldn't show me at least one kickass spec episode, no matter how good their pilot was. Writing a spec episode is also better practice; and writing a great spec episode is a hell of a lot easier than writing a great spec pilot.



This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger Tenspeed & Brownshoe, at 11:24 AM  

For half hour comedies the hot spec script is The Office.

For hour long dramas it's House.

By Blogger Tenspeed & Brownshoe, at 11:27 AM  

My manager has me concentrating on original material right now - I finished a pilot not too long ago and started a new one recently. As far as specs, she's sending out a Rescue Me I did last year. House is still the one to write; also Ugly Betty - everyone and their mother is writing one right now. For cable, try a Dexter. Unfortunately, this was not a good year for specs, which has increased the calls for original pilots.

By Blogger Shawn, at 2:55 PM  

Jane Espenson's blog is all about spec writing. Read enough of her posts and you'll know exactly which shows to write specs for.

By Blogger Nathania Johnson, at 6:53 PM  

Ugh. This topic makes me absolutely crazy. Not only does the "hot spec" change about once a month, but the rules are constantly changing as well.

For example, I spoke with a friend last night who works as an assistant for a big time TV Lit agent at a big time agency. She told me they just signed a kid (a writer's assistant, btw) who wrote a Diff'rent Strokes spec.

What?! I have had no less than fifteen industry insiders (producers, agents, etc.) tell me that my spec will absolutely, positively not get read if it's a show that's not currently on the air.

I always suspected this absolute to be bogus, but here's the proof. You can basically spec whatever the hell you want. My feeling has been that it's less important what you write and more important what you've done. Have you worked on a show as a writer's assistant? Have you sold anything? Is your short film in festivals? Do you have a hot YouTube video. If you have a little bit of heat an agent will read a "Diff'rent Strokes," but if you don't, they'll come up with some excuse for why they won't read you. (No matter how timely your spec.)

But, if anyone's interested, the word on the street (this week) is "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "30 Rock" for comedy specs.

By Blogger joshm, at 7:19 PM  

I am both delighted and surprised to hear that about "Sunny" delighted because I would like to do one, surprised because I would still think there are tons of agents and development people who wouldn't know that show well enough to evaluate a spec of it.

Guess Entourage is so "last year," eh?

By Blogger JC, at 10:28 PM  

Jm -

I would bet hard cash that the DIFFERENT STROKES spec was the most outrageous parody in the world with Willis and Kimberly gettin' it on, Mr. Drummond coming out of the closet, and Arnold taking his first bong hit.

There's an I LOVE LUCY spec making the rounds that's of the same calibre. I call them parody specs - specs designed to play on your expectations of the show, then smashing those expectations to bits.

There was a CHARLIE BROWN spec several years ago with the kids all grown up... rather all effed up.

By Blogger Cunningham, at 11:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger Tina Feign, at 1:00 AM  

What's the word on Weeds specs? Does anyone know or could they find out? Would be much appreciated.

By Blogger Tina Feign, at 1:15 AM  

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