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Basic One Hour TV Show Structure

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Brahm Taylor
Basic One Hour TV Show Structure
on Jun 12, 2012 at 1:42:03 am

Trying to crack a bit of a nut that seems to be more well-guarded than the location of the Holy Grail in my rather extensive internet searches.

I am trying to edit existing footage down to a precise one hour format.

This is to say I am editing it into several acts (that will need precise lengths) and leaving black gaps (that will need precise lengths) for several commercial breaks.

It seems like this would be a pretty imperative bit of information since an act that runs 9 minutes would have to be edited significantly (possibly detrimentally) differently than a 5 minute bit between two commercial breaks.

Now I also understand that this elusive "structure" may vary a great deal from network to network – so I am simply looking for a way to ball park simulate it.

Does anyone have any real world experience with having to do this – and better yet perhaps just one legit example or template that has seen actual battle?

Something like (just a fictitious example):

Teaser - 2:00
Title Sequence - 1:00
Act I - 5:00
Commercial - 3:00
Act II - 5:00
Commercial - 3:00
Act III - 10:00
Commercial - 3:00
Act IV - 10:00
Commercial - 3:00
Act V - 5:00
Commercial - 3:00
Act VI - 5:00
End Credits - 2:00

Thanks in advance for any experienced direction.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Basic One Hour TV Show Structure
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:33:06 pm

This information is typically given to you by the network or whoever is going to braodcast the show, it's also in the show "bible". The producer should have this information before the project starts. if you don't know who is going to buy or air the show, you really don't havemuch to go on. You might try Discovery Channel's production portal site to see if they post a format guide for shows to be submitted to them. That would get you int he ballpark, but every show is a little different; expect to have to re-cut, once a buyer lays out their specifications.

You could also just record several episodes of a show that's most like the one you want to edit, log what they do, average those out, and conform to that. Gets you in the ballpark at least.

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