I want to write a fiction TV series inspired by a true love story between a star and his fans except that I'm going to represent the fans as an actual female character and make it a romantic series. Also this star has had a girl making up false rumors (scanlde) about him and a I want to include that in my TV series although I still don't know whether to use the same scandle or makeup another one according to what the story needs. So I want to know: Do I need that star's permission first to write that series?

PS: I also wish he plays the main role (the star) in it.

  • 2
    I'm not sure this is really a writing problem per se. You might consider asking over on our sister site Law. Also, please specify a jurisdiction.
    – user
    May 16, 2018 at 17:05
  • Hi Michael, what is a jurisdiction? I will try to ask on Law site. Thank you.
    – Yostina
    May 16, 2018 at 17:18
  • en.wiktionary.org/wiki/jurisdiction#Noun (or just plug the word into your favorite search engine and you'll likely get some useful hits near the top)
    – user
    May 16, 2018 at 17:22
  • Write it as fanfic. Write it with the actual actor and get it out of your system. It will be truer to what you really want to write, you will like it more, and — since you cannot publish it for money and can only post or publish it as a derivative work — permission is not really an issue. May 17, 2018 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


This may help you:


I don't write for TV but a couple of my friends do and according to them, getting an agent and selling a TV series is an extremely difficult and competitive process. Even if you manage to secure an agent and they manage to sell the rights to your TV drama, the chances of it actually getting made are desperately low. The reason being that rights are bought for a set period (perhaps 5 years) and during that time production companies run into untold difficulties until the rights return to the writer and you have to start again.

When I went through a low patch with novel writing, I considered screenwriting instead and they talked me out of it, saying that publishing is far easier (and I thought publishing was hard enough!). That's not to say you shouldn't keep trying! Always follow your dreams!

However, the reason for pointing this out is to say that it's a hard enough business as it is, and if you write something that has the potential to lead a production company into litigation, you're stacking the odds against yourself when the odds are stacked enough as it is.

Does it have to be a real-life star? Couldn't you write your story using your star as an inspiration for a fictional character, making sure you change enough details to make them unrecognisable and the events that happen to them seem unconnected?

Your story could be just as good, just as marketable.

I'm an old broad, so if you're a youngster you won't have heard of this movie, but look at A Star Is Born (I'm a big fan of the Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson version). The screenwriter creates a completely fictional star (albeit reminiscent of any number of real-life rock stars) and watching it, you truly believe he's real. It's handled so well, I don't feel cheated because that character isn't based on a real-life celebrity.

If I were in your shoes, I would remove as many obstacles from my path to success as I possibly could before starting my journey. It's a hard enough journey as it is.

Good luck! Hope we see your show on TV one day!

  • Hi GGx, actually I'm writing this show for my favorite Korean star and for Korean drama industry. This star had the most difficult time dealing with a gold digger but also had his fans to help him through it so if it can't be really obviously about him and us, the story won't be worth writing. I want to show the beauty of how he made his fans' lives better and how his fans helped him through this scandle which can be a career destroyer in Korean society.
    – Yostina
    May 16, 2018 at 18:31
  • There was a sitcom that got made in America, and it revolved around Jennifer Grey and how she struggles with getting acting jobs after her nose job made her unrecognizable. I always wondered how this would have played out if they managed to sell the story idea, but couldn't get Jennifer to play her part. Sorry, not exactly helpful unless you can get ahold of that show's writers.
    – IchabodE
    May 16, 2018 at 18:40
  • I read that article before but it doesn't answer my question about plot structure inspired by that star's real life. Also my star character is not 100% like the real star I'm writing for, it's about 95% I'm even going to give him a different name.
    – Yostina
    May 16, 2018 at 18:41
  • I read that article before but it doesn't answer my question about plot structure inspired by that star's real life. Also my star character is not 100% like the real star I'm writing for, it's about 95%
    – Yostina
    May 16, 2018 at 18:41
  • 1
    @Yostina I think I understand what you're trying to do and you have absolutely come to the right conclusion, you need his permission. I would still get legal advice once it's written though, esp. when you "mix things from reality" that depict real people. Good luck!
    – GGx
    May 17, 2018 at 15:43

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