How to Write a Sitcom Script

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How to Write a TV Script....5

Write a sitcom script by separating the action in three or four acts, setting the scene, writing the character dialog and following the basic format of a sitcom. Learn to write a sitcom script that follows the traditional pattern of sitcoms with help from a writer, director and editor in this free video on script writing.

Part of the Video Series: Script Writing & Filmmaking
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Video Transcript

Okay, folks, in this clip we're going to talk about how to write a sitcom script. Sitcoms are traditionally thirty minutes long, actually less, more like twenty five to twenty two minutes long. The format for writing television shows specifically is a little bit different. You start off by obviously introducing the show. In the script you're going to write the episode title up near the top, and most TV shows are put together in acts. Acts one, two, three, and sometimes even four, and these are largely contingent upon predetermined commercial breaks when the show actually airs. So a lot of times, you'll see act one, act two, act three within a sitcom, that's based on the fact that they know there's going to be two big commercial breaks in the middle of the story that will therefore divide the script up into thirds, or sometimes even fourths. So, you'll start with Act I, or Act A, whatever you want to call it, and you move right into the action. Obviously you set the scene, you put the characters dialogue out there, and you just kind of get rolling from there, and honestly at this point it follows the traditional formats of lots of different other, regular screenplays. Some people depending on the structure and who the script is for specifically might format it in different ways, depending on which department it's going to, but at the end of the day most people, especially if you're just trying to write a spec script--something that's just for you that you can submit to people--writing it in the traditional format is absolutely fine. There are people that will come along and tinker with it later, but start by telling us where we are, give us the action, tell us what the actors say--write out their performance--and just follow that format from there. That is how to write a sitcom script.

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