"Aspiring TV writers will find practical insight via studies of Marion Hargrove (Maverick; The Waltons), Joseph Dougherty (Thirtysomething) and Michael Kozoll (Hill Street Blues), complete with sample scripts, in Prime-Time Authorship: Works About and by Three TV Dramatists by Douglas Heil (writer and producer of the film The Story of the Cat). Pointing to recent shows like Xena: Warrior Princess, The Sopranos and La Femme Nikita that have revitalized the dramatic genre, he posits that "auterism" as it exists in film "the notion that a motion picture can embody the intentions and sensibility of a single person" can likewise surface in TV writing."—Publishers Weekly
"This is an impressive work, a major advance in the field. . . . Heil has built on what the rest of us have done and gone further."—Tom Stempel, author of Storytellers to the Nation: A History of American Television Writing
Designed to inspire the fledgling scriptwriter, this book combines analytical essays on the work of three successful television writers with interviews and complete scripts printed in correct professional format. The writers Marion Hargrove (Maverick, The Waltons), Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething), and Michael Kozoll (Hill Street Blues) are used as examples of professionals who developed a personal voice and a distinctive style while serving as staff writers for existing prime-time television programs.
Douglas Heil theorizes that students of television scriptwriting need to engage in “close study of exemplary,” and the three full scripts he offers a.re useful models of humane and entertaining drama. The book is of value not only to aspiring scriptwriters but also to those readers with a general interest in media history.
Douglas Heil is a professor of communications at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. In addition to numerous essays, short dramas, and reviews he has also written and produced several short films.
Series: Television and Popular Culture
6 x 9, 486 pages