Cover image for Writing television comedy
Writing television comedy
Rannow, Jerry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Allworth Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 211 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1992.7 .R33 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Veteran television writer/producer Jerry Rannow gives aspiring and experienced comedy writers a humorous and eye-opening guide to conceiving, writing, and marketing a winning TV sitcom. Drawing on more than twenty-five years' experience, he tells how to construct a story outline, structure and format scripts, develop character and dialogue, pitch to producers, collaborate with other writers, and work with network and studio executives, producers, directors, agents, writers, and stars. Full of laughs and profitable tips for making a living in the business, this book is an invaluable tool for any writer who wants to break into TV comedy.

Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers.

Author Notes

Jerry Rannow began his show-business career as a professional actor and then moved on to writing and producing for such popular network television series as Happy Days, Welcome Back, Kotter, Love Boat, and Head of the Class. He has won exclusive contracts to develop television series for ABC Network, Columbia Pictures, and Twentieth-Century Fox, and has taught humor and television writing at the University of Wisconsin. He now heads his own communications company, the Write Connection, out of his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

Rightsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Big Introp. xi
Chapter 1 I Never Metamorphosis I Didn't Likep. 1
Chapter 2 Jump Starting the Funnybonep. 9
Chapter 3 The Ideap. 13
Chapter 4 Massaging the Story Musclep. 23
Chapter 5 Ideas on a Clotheslinep. 31
Chapter 6 The Plot Thickensp. 41
Chapter 7 I Am the King Revisitedp. 45
Chapter 8 Yarn-Spinning 101p. 61
Chapter 9 Archie Bunker Lives!p. 75
Chapter 10 A Second Opinionp. 89
Chapter 11 Giggles, Goofs, and Guffawsp. 93
Chapter 12 Laughs from the Soulp. 107
Chapter 13 Life or Death of a Salespersonp. 123
Chapter 14 It's Perfect! I Love It! Do It Over!p. 137
Chapter 15 Joined at the Hipp. 147
Chapter 16 The Dark Side of Successp. 157
Chapter 17 Solidarityp. 161
Chapter 18 Pilot Dreamsp. 167
Chapter 19 Lagniappep. 173
Chapter 20 My Lunch with Ericp. 177
Chapter 21 That's Just About All, Folks!p. 187
Appendix A Sitcom Agentsp. 191
Appendix B Writers' Guild of America Qualifications for Membershipp. 197
Appendix C Writers' Guild of America Contactsp. 199
Appendix D Information Resourcesp. 201
Indexp. 205