Sitcom Writer

Sitcom Writer

SitcomWriter

Los Angeles, CA

Female, 33

For over ten years, I’ve had the extreme pleasure of being staffed on several half-hour network sitcoms, rising in the ranks from Staff Writer to Co-Executive producer. My writing partner and I are now developing our own material.

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Last Answer on December 19, 2012

Best Rated

Other than the ability to write well, what are the other important attributes you look for when hiring writers?

Asked by mom w/pen almost 6 years ago

Not including things like draft writing and story breaking I would look for decent human beings. You're going to be with these people for a long time so they have to be nice. I'd want people who are funny to talk to. People I would want to be friends with outside of work. I'd also want people with humility. People who don't think they know everything and are very supportive of others' ideas. I'd want people that don't think too highly of our position on the show. In TV writers are treated like we're the top of the totem pole and a lot of writers feel that they are. I would want to work with people that realize how important everyone on set is. And appreciate how hard they work. I would want people that could pull long hours. I get it if you have to leave early one day for a school play or something like that, but 99% of the time I expect you there into the wee hours of the morning if that's what it takes to get the job done.

Assuming the pilot gets picked up, do most sitcoms start with a definitive timeline (e.g. this story will take 3 seasons to tell), or is it more wait-and-see approach?

Asked by Write As Rain... almost 6 years ago

Whoops. Sorry for the delay. When a pilot gets picked up nine times out of ten it is only given 13 episodes. If it does really well it gets the "back nine" for a full season. If it does badly it's canceled even before those episodes are shot. So new shows rarely think past those first 13. Also each show and show runner is different. I've been on shows where each episode is a crapshoot. And I've been on others where the first thing we do is figure out what major thing will happen to each character and decided a time line to introduce that major thing and when we will pay it off. I have never been on a show that's thought past the season it was working on more than a wistful "Maybe in season six X and Y will start dating..."

I think the quality of the Colbert Report over the past 3 or 4 years has been through the roof (superior even to the Daily Show). Do "insiders" respect the writing on his show (and his abilities personally)?

Asked by SC over 6 years ago

Stephen Colbert is a genius. Plain and simple. I think most people in my industry with agree.

Have you ever heard of someone not "in the business" randomly writing a sitcom pilot or script that has gotten picked up?

Asked by HobbyScriptWriter over 6 years ago

I can't think of any comedy scripts where this happened. I think CSI is an example of it on the drama side. But, and I cannot over emphasize this... It is EXTREMELY hard to do.

What show have you worked on where you were virtually positive it would succeed, but it wound up getting cancelled or never aired?

Asked by TVTime over 6 years ago

I assume everything is going to fail until it doesn't. Call it a defense mechanism.

Any notable downsides to being a sitcom writer?

Asked by Jerry2011 over 6 years ago

I have my dream job and I still hate it about half the time. The hours suck. Plus it's very hard when you really love a joke or an idea and your boss says “no.”

What types of shows have you written for?

Asked by Netta_D over 6 years ago

I’ve written everything from crappy multi-cameras that didn't make it through the first season, to Emmy award-winning single-cameras that I am proud to have on my resume.