How to Sell a TV Show with a Sizzle Reel [with Examples]

You've completed your series bible, and finished the pilot script for your best show idea. Now you need to get yourself in the room, and prove to producers that your idea should be their next project.

You need a sizzle reel.

How to sell a TV show with a sizzle reel: EPISODE 7

Why do I need a sizzle reel? 

A sizzle reel is one of the best ways to introduce your project. It can help you lock down meetings with producers and executives, and is one of the most effective tools during your pitch.

When you pitch, you're in front of producers who are interested in your creative vision, and you wouldn't be there if they didn't believe in you. Soon they will see what you can bring to the table.

Don't go into the room empty handed - Bring a sizzle reel.

What is a sizzle reel?

A sizzle reel is a video that expresses the goals and overall tone of your show or idea. This can be in the form of a short film, an important scene from your project, or an exciting trailer.

30 years ago, it may have been enough to bring in a spec script, and use the classic schtick:

"Think 'The Expendables' meets 'The Player'..."

Today, you need something visual to prove that you can deliver on your creative vision.

Because if you don't, someone else will.

This isn't a gimmick; it has become the most effective way to sell your show, because no matter how good your idea might be, it is still a gamble.

Show them that with your idea, the odds are in their favor.

Film a short. Shoot a scene. Cut together a trailer.

Bang two action figures together... something.

Anything other than tossing a big stack of words onto the table in front of them.

Because a producer will watch almost anything, but they might not want to spend their night reading a wordy script when they could be out celebrating their exciting new project.

We've provided you with sizzle reel examples that turned ideas into reality.

Ask yourself this:

What is unique about my idea?

Create a visual representation of why the time is now for your idea to be green-lit.

If you can create a compelling sizzle reel, your biggest problem won't be selling your show...

It will be deciding who buys it.

Grab the FREE resources

Take your TV series to the next level with our free worksheets and templates. Enter your email, and we'll send instantly send it your way.

Exit Intent - Downloadable - TV Show Bible Template - TV Writing 2

Learn more about story development

You have an idea for a story, but who's going to be in it? Learn about how to build better characters by formulating arcs that matter to the audience. 


  • How to track characters' emotional journeys
  • What beats to hit for peak emotional impact
  • FREE Story Template: The Story Speedometer

One of the best ways to get your idea onto the page is with an outline. It can help you see the story beats and decide what happens next. If you're concerned your story doesn't have legs, try our FREE OUTLINE TEMPLATE!  


  • What key elements need to occur in Acts I, II, III
  • Does your story have potential for more eps?
  • How each character will arc over time 

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