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Writing for Reality Television

At a Glance

  • Explore the oppertunities in reality television for beginning and mid-career writers
  • Develop an understanding of how to begin a career in reality television production
  • Examine the preproduction, production and post-production process

In this course, you’ll learn what makes great reality shows tick, how they’re produced from pre-production through post, and even what it takes to get started in the often seemingly counterintuitive world of writing for reality television. 

Tailored for beginners and mid-career writers interested in exploring the opportunities reality television offers in today’s media marketplace, this course was composed by one of the industry’s busiest and most recognizable reality television writer/producers.  The 12-part course covers everything from a basic understanding of the genre to its process, winding down with the development of an original reality television show concept.

The budget-friendly On Demand option (which is for sale here) gives you more in depth material than the Online option, only without instructor feedback. You'll immediately receive our comprehensive course in PDF format, which provides instructions and exercises on specific skills you will need to succeed as a screenwriter. You can purchase the On Demand option here. To get the Online option with instructor feedback and online discussions with other students, please click here.

In this online writing course you will learn:

  • The origins of reality television
  • An understanding of how it became the global phenomenon it is today
  • How to get the best results from your cast
  • How to yield compelling source material
  • To create your own show
  • How to take your show to market

Course Outline

Session One:  Introduction to Reality Television

  • Story is Story, and Story is Written: The Role of the Hidden Storyteller in Reality TV
  • A Brief History of Reality Television
Session Two:  The Seven, or Seventy, or Seven Hundred Kinds of Reality Shows
  • Reality Genres and Subgenres
  • Understanding the Hybrid Series
Session Three:  The Reality Effect
  • How Reality Has Changed Traditionally Scripted Shows
  • The Reality Genre as Fodder for Traditionally Scripted Television
Session Four:  The Reality of Reality (Understanding the Production Hierarchy)
  • Overview of Production Hierarchy
Session Five: Preproduction
  • Reviewing Past Episodes and Casting Materials
  • Downloading With Your Producers
  • Sketching Out Your Profile Interviews
  • The Preliminary Outline
Session Six:  Production
  • Field notes and hot sheets
  • Interviews
  • Set Etiquette
  • What To Do When the Shoot Goes South

Session Seven:  Post production

  • Adding Stakes in Post
  • Composing a stringout (Paper Cut vs. Avid/Final Cut Pro)
  • Act Breaks
  • Teases
  • Rough Cut / Fine Cut / Locked Cut
Session Eight:  Getting to Work (and how, because you can’t write a spec)
  • Entry Level Positions
  • Building a Reputation on an Invisible Job
  • Ethics
  • Networking in the Reality Community / Broader Television Community
  • Professional Organizations
  • Maximizing IMDb and other Resume and Credit Websites.
Session Nine:  Creating Your Own Show (Part One)
  • The Workable Concept
  • The Pitch
Session Ten:  Creating Your Own Show (Part Two)
  • The One Sheet
  • The Sizzle Reel
Session Eleven:  Creating Your Show (Part Three)
  • The One Sheet
  • The Sizzle Reel
Session Twelve:  Closing Remarks
  • Closing discussion; Community review of select pitches

Product Details

Return Policy

Your satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please return the item(s) for an exchange or refund within 30 days from the purchase date, unless otherwise noted on the product page.

Ship the item(s) to The Writers Store via a traceable and insured method. You will be responsible for return shipping fees.

Please include a completed Return Form with your shipment. Refunds take up to one week to process once we have received the item(s).

Software returns must be deactivated and uninstalled from your computer before a refund may be issued. Please contact the software manufacturer if you need assistance uninstalling or deactivating your software.

The following items are not returnable: Hollywood Creative Directories, DVDs (opened), and Gift Certificates.

$349.99