Writing the TV Pilot For The New International Market

The explosion in streaming series is great news for writers. Log onto any streaming site and you’ll be inundated with new shows, not just from America but from around the world. There are hundreds of shows in production and an uncountable number more in development. That means there’s an incredible hunger for new writers and new ideas. And now if your show is a success, it will be seen by just about anyone anywhere in the world.


But that great news comes with a downside. Because in this new global market, you’re not just competing with every other writer in the US, you’re competing with writers across the world. And even though they may come from totally different cultures with entirely different storytelling traditions, they’re all working in the same genres as you.


This class will explore the differences between the scripts that become global hits and the ones that don’t. Why does one teen missing in one forest become an international sensation when a dozen other teens missing in a dozen other forests are ignored around the world? What separates a true global phenomenon like Squid Game from all the other shows with similar concepts?


William Rabkin is a veteran showrunner whose executive producing credits include Monk, Psych, The Glades, the long-running Diagnosis Murder, and the action hit Martial Law. In 2021 he wrote and EP's The Darkest Timeline, has written a dozen pilots for broadcast and cable networks, and has written and/or produced more than 300 hours of dramatic television.


He currently teaches screenwriting in the University of California, Riverside-Palm Desert's MFA program.

Other classes at Story Expo by Bill:

Forging The Path From Inspiration to Story

Everything I Needed to Know About Learning to Write I (Re)learned Through Piano Lessons