These past weeks I’ve been playing around with developing a TV format. That’s curious because I don’t watch TV. Not because I have anything against TV but just because I’m used to the web and always have been. It’s a generational thing. I wrote the whole thing as a PDF but the web version has videos and is far more visual and you can read it here.
Here’s list of the things that gave me a headache:
Firstly, writing little enough, so as not to describe things that would make a format into a series.
Secondly, out of habit I chose a strong main character and got into writing episodes when I finally realized that every territory (should the format be sold, in theory), has its own protagonist. So how do I solve this? Can I write the protagonist for a format or not? If the protagonist is too recognizable, then does that get into the way of extending into other territories? Perhaps not, if you look at Tyra Banks in America’s Next Top Model and her format franchise around the world.
And thirdly, my format was global in its scope from day 1. Even though this seemed suitable for my theoretical multicultural target audience in Britain (Channel 4, Sundays 20:00), maybe this will be a nuisance extending into other territories? If the show is already global, how do you extend it into other territories around the planet?
So maybe the result of all my work is not a format after all, but something more similar to a BBC documentary series. I know I’ve seen many BBC documentaries and am influenced by them. And I’ve really only followed one format, the aforementioned * Next Top Model. In any case I would appreciate feedback, so if you have something to contribute, please tweet me at @krishaamer or shoot me an email.