TV WRITING & DEVELOPMENT MASTERCLASS
How to Make a TV Show Bible [FREE Series Bible Template]
So you have your treatment, pilot script and logline and you’re feeling ready to pitch your show to Netflix. Not so fast, cowboy. What you need is a TV show bible to pull everything together.
How to MAKE a TV show bible: EPISODE 5
What is a TV show bible?
A TV show bible, or series bible, is essentially an outline of your show, or series. Show bibles are generally broken down into several parts, including: a one page pitch of your show and logline, story engine, character breakdowns, pilot and future seasons. Show bibles are used to present to TV and digital executives in order to get a show commissioned or picked-up for distribution.
A thoughtful show bible, or series bible, will most likely make pitching your show easier. Does your show have multiple characters? Episodes? Plot Twists? What about Season 2… Season 3… and then the spinoff? When pitching a show, there are a lot of details to keep track of…
...And you want to make sure you present them in a practical, organized manner.
Here's a TEst:
Try pitching your show to a friend without your logline and then evaluate how it went.
Then, try pitching the same friend with your logline. Which felt better?
Now, let’s talk about actually creating your show bible. Here are the basic elements needed, and a brief description of how to make each of them. For our full TV Show Bible template, enter your email below and we'll send you the show bible template immediately.
A good logline introduces the main character, or the group of main characters, to the conflict that will thrust the story forward. Learn more about how to write a killer logline.
This is where we’re really going to get to know your characters.
Go into detail on who each person is. Include a few important defining moments from their backstory. What will happen to them? What inner conflict will they struggle with?
List 5-10 strong episode concepts in 2-3 sentences: “Max is stripped of his badge and gun for unauthorized violence. Jane gets a message from the son she didn’t know she had” Be brief, tease out a conflict, and include a subplot.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to create a TV show bible, it’s time to try it yourself.
As always, thanks for reading and happy writing!
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