How to Pitch a Reality Show


Authored by Haliyma Barrow in Movies and Television
Published on 03-06-2011

Pitching a reality show may be a challenging process. When embarking on the creation of your own reality show, make sure that your idea is original. The people who you are pitching to, usually producers, must get a clear understanding of all the features of the show. Furthermore, it is important that your show ends up in the hands of the right people for it to be given appropriate consideration.


When creating a reality show, develop a query letter. Most agencies do not accept unsolicited show pitches, therefore it is recommended that you send them an introductory document with a summary of your show and what makes it worthy of a spot in the reality TV lineup. This document should be concise and cover all aspects of the show. Present this introductory package to different agents for consideration. Before doing so, make sure that your concepts are clearly articulated and the portrait on display is worth its weight in gold.

You can also submit your query letter and reality show pitch to reality TV production companies. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your submission to production companies. If they express interest in your work you will receive a release. This document is used to protect the production company from lawsuits if they agree to review your work. Sign and return the release immediately. They will not proceed without your approval.

Make sure that all your work is registered with the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) before sending it to any agency or production company. For more information on registering your work with WGA, visit http://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss.


Conduct research on the agencies and reality TV production companies before presenting your concept. Make sure the type of programming you are pitching will be facilitated by those agencies and production companies. It would be pointless to showcase your documentary-style work to a network that only specializes in game shows. Communicate with those who are versed in your area of specialization.

Prepare Your Sketches

If you are successful in selling your reality show idea, then the producers will eventually want more details. While waiting to receive a response, put together some sample episode ideas. Your idea may be reality based, but you will still have to create a story line that will entice viewers to keep watching the show until its finale. Furthermore, your sketches should also depict how individual episodes will contribute to the overall storyline.

Show Details

Depending on the format of your proposed show, include information on its location, participants, host, potential sponsors and the number of episodes. These are some of the questions that you will have to answer if you are called to a pitch meeting with producers.

When pitching a reality show, you must have a clear and precise concept. Furthermore, it is essential to communicate with networks that specialize in your genre of work. Once selected be prepared to present episode samples and information pertaining to the show’s hosts, participants and sponsors.


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