Deep into the second book of a three book series, love me a military thriller, but I have a question. If a television pilot is a comedy does it have to be in a thirty minute format? Can it be an hour comedy pilot?
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I think it can be an hour long. I would make sure there is a reason for it being an hour long. Typically, comedies are short and to the point. Is your pilot a two-parter? Does it need two episodes to resolve whatever is going on? If you can find a way to work it, I say go for it. But make sure you leave room to re-work it if you can only submit it in a thirty minute format.
This question has become one without a clear cut answer. A show that is a subject of this debate is ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Check out its Awards page on IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2372162/awards?ref_=tt_awd Please note: In 2014, it competed in the Comedy category of the Emmys, and it competed against mostly, if not all, half-hours shows (I haven't checked, but you can check to see if the other nominated shows were half-hours). In 2015, it competed in the Drama category of the Emmys, and in this case, it competed against other hour-long shows. A minority of shows, like OITNB, are blurring the lines between Comedy and Drama. But the majority of Comedy shows are half-hour.
I'd go with Regina's comments.You can still write your hour long military thriller with humor.comedy. I am polishing up a sic-fi/action/drama laced with comedic overtones and humor. Sometimes all it takes it a character or that character's interaction to lay out the humor. It doesn't have to be written like a half-hour sitcom where you have to rely on joke after joke. But if you have a special ops soldier who is known for being a wise cracking, smart ass who keeps the unit laughing THERE is where you can bring the humor in. His banter, reactions, interactions with others could bring in the comedy element. Just a thought.
You can Google something like, "is orange is the new black a comedy or a drama" for more material, and you can see why it's blurring the lines and leaving us without a clear cut answer. You will get a number of hits such as: http://deadline.com/2015/03/orange-is-the-new-black-run-drama-ineligible...
Great responses. Thank you.
Hi Carey, your point about "two episodes" is called "double-pumping." I think the original question is asking about a single ep that is an hour-long single episode, rather than about two episodes at 30 mins each. For context on double-pumping, scroll down to the "Reception" section of this entry in which a TV critic discusses ABC double-pumping Galavant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galavant Recently, ABC also double-pumped Fresh off the Boat. Scheduling, however, is a network decision, not the writer's decision.
Thanks for the correction, Regina. I had seen this done before with some comedies, but I was a bit confused as well.