A quick orientation to TV series Bibles

From time to time I get cold calls from people working on developing new shows looking for advice.

More often then not the calls I receive are from people who

  1. have been sitting on an idea for years, thinking and talking about it but without any formal documentation
  2. are doing great work in terms of video or performance of some sort and want to make the leap to television but have no formal documentation
  3. have tons of documentation, just nothing organized.

If you have an amazing project you’d like to be made into a TV show, its a great idea to intentionally start working on putting it together in the form of a Bible.

Not THE BIBLE , but a television SHOW BIBLE.

What’s a TV Show / Series Bible?

In the world of television a Bible is a document describing the Universe of a television show.  It outlines the premise, the format, describes the characters, primary locations, and the kind of adventures the characters have.   Now you may not need to have this to pitch a show, but it certainly can help organize your ideas, further the development of the project, and communicate to those in the industry that you’re serious.

As far as I’m concerned, if you aren’t willing to take the time to construct a Bible for your show, you don’t care enough to be making a show.  Or maybe you are an idea person and need to partner with someone who can write and move things along.

Either way, not much is going to happen if you can’t write your idea in a way that it can be protected, pitched and ultimately produced!

Sample TV Show Bibles

So how do you get started with writing your show’s Bible?  Well, you should get your hands on some samples.

Unfortunately these are hard to come by, especially online.  None of the show Bibles for the projects I work on are available online and I don’t have permission to share them.

Have no fear!

There is a great sample show Bible in Jeffrey Scott’s book  How to Write for Animation (affiliate link).   Even if your show is live action, puppet based, etc… the content is still worth reviewing.

There are also some websites with small collections of Bibles, though not many for childrens television.  See resource links below.

If you work in the industry and have a Bible you’d like to share with my readers for educational purposes, please let me know.  It would be great to share some samples from shows in production.  Email me

Additional Resources