With cable spiking the demand for quality drama, the opportunities to produce hour-long primetime dramatic programming are booming.
Robert Del Valle, a producer of such critical and popular heavyweights as “Six Feet Under” and “Melrose Place,” should know.
He has bundled his many years of experience as a freelance television producer into a new book, THE ONE-HOUR DRAMA SERIES: Producing Episodic Television (Silman-James Press, Los Angeles, Publication Date June 2008), an insider’s step-by-step dissection of his craft.
Winner of a Directors Guild Award and twice nominated for an Emmy for producing, Del Valle has written the ultimate guide to the dynamics of TV drama production methods and skills, exploring one of the most enduring and popular programming formats.
“A major challenge to the makers of episodic television drama is meeting the demand for fresh and compelling stories and characters,” says Del Valle, whose credits over the past 35 years also include “Swingtown,” “John Adams,” “Shark,” “Ally McBeal,” “The Sopranos,” “Northern Exposure” and “The Wonder Years.”
“Cable’s growth is propelling the demand for good product, as is the increasing sophistication of the audience,” he says.
Written as a tool for professionals and novices alike, THE ONE HOUR DRAMA SERIES explores the art and craft of episodic dramatic television utilizing Del Valle’s real world perspectives and his practical knowledge from nascent series concept to pilot production to its ultimate airing.
It examines a multitude of vital stops along the production pathway including: finding a fresh concept, developing the pilot, casting, hiring creative and crew staff, budgeting, scripting, production from hair and makeup to shooting, post production, selling a pilot and interacting with studios and broadcast, cable and other media.
“The industry,” says Del Valle, “is constantly reinventing itself given the technological, economic and philosophical evolutions throughout creation, development, production and program distribution.”
“This book is invaluable and reliable, like a decoder ring for the uninitiated,” says Alan Poul, executive producer of “Six Feet Under.”
THE ONE-HOUR DRAMA SERIES – PRODUCING EPISODIC TELEVISION
Published by Silman-James Press, Los Angeles
414 pages, $27.95, Paperback, June 2008