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By: George Moore

One positive thing about the pandemic is that people are using the creative part of their brains. New ideas keep popping up. Do you have a great idea for a pool-related tv show? Let's face it! Before pool starts getting some regular tv-time, we won't be seeing big companies investing in the sport. Here is what to consider and where to pitch your idea(s).

First, keep in mind. What are the tv networks looking for? There are numerous ways television networks measure their shows' performances to determine whether they’re worthy of entering and then staying on the screen. Here are some reasons your favorite show may or may not be coming back later this year.

Overnight ratings

This method of measuring a show's popularity is seemingly self-explanatory. Overnight ratings refer to the number of people who watch a show live, as it airs. For decades, TV networks have used these numbers as their guiding light. High overnight ratings are good, low overnight ratings are a death sentence.

The method of obtaining these numbers, however, isn’t as straightforward as you may think. Nielsen, the premier data measurement company, installs measurement modems called "black boxes" in a select number of diverse households that are used to represent a country's population.

Out of the 118 million households in the United States — the largest exporter of television shows — that have televisions, only around 50,000 houses have these boxes measuring their viewership. Similarly, around 3,000 households in Canada have their TV habits measured to represent the 12 million households with televisions. This sampling of viewers, which is supposedly wide-ranging enough to accurately portray entire countries' watching patterns, is then calculated to determine how much of the country watched a specific show when it aired live. These days, it's much easier to measure the success/failure of a tv show. Statistics from online streams are mainly what gives the decision-makers their data.

The most important metric used to decide a show's fate from these findings is how many people between the ages of 18 and 49 — the prime audience for advertisers — watched live. Since commercials are how shows primarily earn revenue, companies will often value this number above overall ratings.

Once the overall viewership numbers come in and 18 to 49-year old viewership is translated into a percentage of how many people in the age group with televisions watched a show, Nielsen delivers the ratings to the broadcast networks. More eyeballs watching a show means a better chance to sell the products advertised in commercial breaks, so low-rated shows are typically discarded regardless of their quality.

A few years ago, TV networks would've based a show's renewal prospects solely on how many people watch it immediately. However, as our watching habits shift, so do the methods of measuring and monetizing them.

Live TV viewership has been on the decline for years and the standards for how many people need to a show for it to be popular are constantly changing. The drop of viewers over the past decade is so drastic that Riverdale, a very popular show by today’s standards, is averaging a rating 40 percent lower than the lowest-rated show of 2011.

This change has bolstered the importance of those who watch shows on their DVR or on official streaming sites. New metrics, like the "Live+3" or "Live+7" ratings, now measure how many people view an episode of a show within three days and a week of its airdate.

For some shows, this measurement can be their saving grace. A recent episode of Criminal Minds scored 0.9 percent in 18 to 49 ratings — a record low for the 13-year-old show. This rating increased by 89 percent after three-day viewership was factored in and could easily be the reason the show lives to see the 14th year.

International appeal

Another huge source of income for broadcast networks in the United States is the money they get for selling shows to other networks across the world. Sometimes, if a show is popular overseas, a network will continue producing episodes even as its homegrown popularity wanes. This strategy allows shows like Elementary and Quantico — both of which are wildly popular across Europe — to remain alive despite abysmal ratings in the US.

Where do I pitch my idea?

Do you know you can actually contribute to creating the next blockbuster show with your scriptwriting skills? As a creative writer, you can sell your TV show idea and scripts online. There are a lot of production companies out there that are willing to pay money for a show idea that you just thought of. You don’t have to be acquainted with Hollywood or Netflix to make that happen.

If you have a real creative and original idea for a TV show, series, reality show, or any other visual content, you can try your luck at a few production companies that welcome pitches from the public. You could even make money, a handsome amount probably.

Below, we discuss some production companies where you can pitch your show ideas. Make sure you have all the material you need before you apply.

You would be surprised to know the number of opportunities that exist on the Internet. There’s a huge list of companies that are actively looking for such ideas and scripts that you can pitch within a few minutes. However, you need to make sure that your Idea or script is organized in a TV show bible template.

Once your template is ready, you need to know which production company would be the most suitable for it. Many international and local organizations are looking for such ideas. If yours clicks, who knows it could be the next big TV show on Netflix or Amazon.

List of Companies to Pitch your TV show Idea and Script

Here’s a list of production companies worldwide that accept online submissions for TV show ideas and scripts:

Megalomedia is a small TV show company that is owned and created by a true megalomaniac. It’s passionate about creating great TV shows that inspire and give good entertainment. The company has created some shows that have gained a lot of audiences such as “my 600lb life”: a reality show, “Shipping Wars” and “Marshal Law”. It has offices located in Texas, U.S., and London. Megalomedia offers a unique opportunity for scriptwriters to pitch in a great TV show idea. You can submit your idea by going on their website. On the uppermost tab click “pitch us” and submit your details along with your script. If your script is accepted, Megalomedia will give you your due credit.

Pie Town is a reality show production company located in California, US. It has produced some of the most popular reality shows like House Hunters, Downsized, Joan Knows Best, Chef and the City, and many more.

It has been operating since 1996 and is always looking for talented individuals that have great ideas for reality TV shows. Writers can submit their proposals by clicking on the “pitch us” tab. You will be required to read the terms and conditions first before you can proceed to your submission. Once you have read the terms, you will be required to fill in your details and attach your submission. You can also add a log-line for your script in the submission form. Submissions are only accepted from individuals who are over the age of 18.

Rock Shrimp is a production company started by celebrity chef Bobby Flay and executive producer Kim Martin. The company specializes in food, lifestyle, and documentary.

They have produced series Emmy and James, TV commercials, and branded digital content. If you have a good idea for any of the categories offered by Rock Shrimp, you can pitch it and be rewarded.

Simply go to the pitch us tab located at the finishing end of the web page content. Read the terms and conditions, add in your personal details and attach your submission. It can be a document or an MP4 file.

Shaky Alibi Productions is a reality show-based production company that caters to different media platforms like feature films, broadcast television, internet streaming, and mobile entertainment platforms.

The company has been nominated for many awards for its shows. If you are interested in pitching your idea to the production, you can go to the “pitch us” tab on the top bar of the web page. Here you will be required to fill in a form with personal details, a log-line for your idea, and a description of your pitch.

You will then have to accept terms and conditions before submitting your pitch. Remember to add all the details in your pitch that will make your idea stand out. Shaky alibi only accepts ideas for a unique and attractive reality show. It is best to do a search on to check if your idea has already been done before. If it’s not, feel free to submit your idea if you think it’s good enough.

Your idea has more chances of being accepted if you have some supplementary material for your idea such as a clip, video, book, or cast, etc.

Discovery Studios is a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. It is one of the biggest platforms of non-fiction shows and is watched in around 220 countries.

Some of its categories are reality, lifestyle, and adventure. The studio’s most well-known channels are Discovery Channel, Food Network, Animal Planet, and TLC. Discovery is open to ideas from individuals outside their network.

You can submit your idea by going to the “Idea submissions” tab. Here you can submit your details and attach the document file of your idea along with a description of the pitch.

ITV is an Australian-based production company that has its offices in Sydney, Paris, Stockholm, Koln, London, and Los Angeles. It is open to talent outside its company from anywhere. That means anyone can pitch their TV show ideas.

ITV offers a broad range of genres for TV and web shows. They encourage writers to submit scripts of any genre they like.

To submit your idea, go to “ideas and casting” and from there go to “submit an idea” where you can enter your details and submit an idea. You can expect a response from the team within four weeks if the company is interested in your idea. They do not reply if they haven’t considered your pitch. ITV does not accept scripted pitches.

Crazy Legs Production is situated in Atlanta and offers low-cost production services to its clients. Some of these clients include TLC, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, and the Travel Channel.

It has produced shows in the categories of reality and scripted. Some of the shows include Family by the Ton, Hotel Amazon, To Catch a Killer, and Dead Silent.

Crazy Legs are accepting ideas for shows that have some mainstream potential. If you want to submit an idea, you can go to the “pitch us” tab on their website. You can submit any good show script along with supplementary materials such as sketches, video, demo, and characters.

(On another note, just got my order from Peri Cues and I love it!)

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