For instance, Bridgerton came out of the blue and took everybody by surprise and it was like “Oh my god, Bridgerton. Oh my god, did you see Bridgerton?” and everybody’s talking about it, etc etc. I mean it had a little bit of a built-in audience because it’s based on a book series. So that’s why all the streamers and the networks, they’re desperate to take IP — intellectual property — because you bring in an audience, and then their just going to amplify that audience by making the film version of it — the tv version of it — the limited series version of it — and then they’re going to build and build, right? So they’re really interested in that and Bridgerton was a good example of how that works and then they added the Shonda Rimes sort of gloss to it and suddenly — I had never heard of the book series — I had never read the book series. I didn’t know it existed but I certainly knew Bridgerton existed and then I had to watch it because 3 or 4 people — and I’m not necessarily a fan of those kinds of romance dramas, but everybody said you’ve got to watch this so I gave it a shot. I gave it a first episode. I always try to give things a first episode as we were saying before and if it connects, I’ll go to the next one. Right? Sometimes even if the first doesn’t work I’ll give it a second one cause what I do know is when you are making a pilot you’ve gotten so many notes from the network and the production company and you’ve had to dance for so many people to make sure they all keep saying yes to you, then it’s not necessarily exactly what you originally wanted to do but once they say yes and you get on the air the next episode is going to look more like what you’ve always wanted. So, if it works on the second one then I will stick with it. If I don’t get it on the second one then I stop watching.
It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.
Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).
We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.
Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.
Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!
The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.