Successful Television Writing (Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin)

I will be teaching a course on television narrative and series design in the fall so I read this book as a possible future textbook. It provides a strong overview of the basics of the industry but it is very slight and has little in the way of a discussion of the actual craft.

Where the book is valuable is in providing practical insight into how television script concepts are developed and refined and how the shows work in a general sense. If you want a quick overview of the industry this is a good book, and it has a few bright insights on how to come up with a story premise for an already established show, but there isn't much else here. In fact, the book ends on 135 and the final 70 pages are appendices (e.g., sample beat sheets).

— Jonathan Ball

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Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

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