I’m starting to get those kinds of emails again. Folks with “ideas” for shows that want advice on how to get access to networks, despite the fact that they’ve never worked in the industry before, have no representation, and are already worried more about how to keep someone from stealing their great ideas than how developed their idea really is.
I love you guys, but you should no more expect to start your career in reality television as a show creator than a newbie baker who’s never cracked an egg should expect to start off his or her career making ultra-complicated eight-tier wedding cakes. Unless you’re bringing recognizable personalities into the mix (as in, “It’s a reality series about my cousin, Selina Gomez, who’s already signed a letter of interest”) or add some other kind of unique value to the project, it’s gonna be a tough road.
Complicating things further, reality TV is different from scripted in that you can’t really write a spec for a reality show that will get you hired as a reality producer. It takes time to build your credits and become the kind of person that a production company or network would want to meet with, so starting at the bottom and putting the time in is how that works most of the time.
So once more, here’s how you break in and work your way up:
If you’ve decided not to take my advice, might I suggest that you check out this book by Donna Michelle Anderson: