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I have reached a point in writing a TV serial where I'm considering looking for an agent to represent me, but I'm not sure how much I should have to show in order to do so. Obviously in order to find representation for a film script you need to present the full product, but for a TV serial that means many times more written product than it does for a film script, even if you only require a single season.

At present I have a pilot and two full "normal" episodes, as well as a comprehensive outline for the hypothetical first season; more than enough to give a good idea of the concept and (hopefully) the promise of the show. Is this sufficient, or should I have a full season of fully-written scripts before I start looking for an agent?

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    Screenwriting agents have barely enough time to read a single script, let alone a whole series. You should use your pilot as a "calling card" script if it is a good representation of the whole series. Should an agent be interested, they will ask you for more of the same. If they are interested in your script it's then a good time to be honest with them and tell them what you do have and what you are working on. If your script is good enough they will work hard to get you the commission that will keep you paid enough to keep writing. – timstermatic Apr 16 '15 at 15:35
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Writing one or two examples of the "average" script won't hurt, and it's good practice. I wouldn't do any more, though, because it could all change if and when it goes into development.

One thing you should have in order to pitch this project is a simple bible. If they like the pitch they may ask to read the pilot. If they like the pilot they may ask for a bible. It gives prospective readers a sense of the show as a whole. But also, it gives you the knowledge you need in order to pitch. You need to know well beyond the pilot and a few sample shows.

As a guide, you could include something like the following - and keep the whole thing to about 5 pages:

  • Logline for the series
  • Genre
  • Overview of the pilot
  • Overview of the series with some sense of where it would go over the first 5 years
  • Characters - a paragraph on each of the main characters - who they are, what the conflicts are, character arcs over the course of the first season
  • Any themes that the series will explore
  • A logline for 5 - 7 episodes of the first season
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I think you just need to add a few things to go ahead. You should have a flow of events for at least an entire season written. This will not only give the agent a better idea of your story but also give you a baseline to follow. An entire script for the season may not be necessary. Also an outline for another season. Just few possibilities will get more trust in your story.

Linking of events in different seasons is generally applauded by the audience. So a preview of the same in your mind and putting the same in the agents mind will surely help you.

Rest you do have a good amount of material ready.

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I'd like to be honest here, agents are not looking for baby writers with zero experience on staff for a brand new unproven tv show. That's the bad news. The good news is that you've got the work ethic to pump out a pilot and episodes? That's stellar right there. Mostly people only have ideas. I would work on the second piece of breaking into entertainment, which is network network network like crazy until you meet the right people. It's not gonna matter that you have an agent if no one in town knows who you are. An agent isn't a magician who can open the gates for you...they're just there to help you negotiate the nitty gritty terms. It's business, not Entourage so think about why any agent would get into bed with a new writer not guaranteed to have return in time/money invested? Keep working on your samples, write a few more pilots (they will be better than your first, that just how writing goes) and if you want to make American TV, BE IN LA.

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As far as the writing portion goes, you've got enough. However, in this day and age, at least to my understanding, you need a trailer. This means taking ~20 minutes of footage and editing it down to ~3 minutes of something that is consumable (gives the gist of the story). Unfortunately, trailers cost money. Expect to spend $20K to shoot and edit a trailer that someone is going to watch and say, "yeah, we want to buy this."

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