The most considerable differences in the television screenwriting process occur between comedies and dramas. Screenwriting for comedic television shows, especially sitcoms, tends to be group oriented. The writers meet up and collaborate to come up with plots and jokes for a single episode. Because of the emphasis on collaboration and teamwork, screenwriters for comedy shows don’t really “own” their scripts.
Screenwriters for television dramas, while also usually part of a team, are able to put more of their individual work into the script. On some shows, the producer writes the episode scripts, and the writing team improves and embellishes them. For other shows, each screenwriter creates a script for an episode (or more than one), and the producer edits the scripts to his liking.
Screenwriting for films is most often done on a completely individual basis. A writer creates a script and, if a producer happens to like it, it gets made into a movie. Writing scripts for film takes much longer than creating scripts for television, but the pay is also significantly greater.
About the Author:
The multi-talented Scott Perlov, an accomplished lawyer, pianist, and athlete, has held aspirations to become a screenwriter for over seven years. As President of his own television and film screenwriting company, Perlov and Associates, LLC, Scott Perlov is well-informed about the screenwriting process for different media formats and genres.