A teleplay, or script, is very similar to a screenplay. The exception being that teleplays are often written for multi-camera episodic television.
Teleplay scenes are grouped together and segmented into “ACTS.” Scenes are short and to-the-point. The end of an “ACT” signifies a major reveal or a cliffhanger in the episode’s plot.
There could be 3 or 4 (or more) “ACTS” for a single episode. Plus there’s often an “INTRO/Teaser” (a short scene before the opening credits) and an “EXTRO” (a short scene before the end credits).
Teleplay “ACTS” are numbered and SCENES are lettered. For example: “ACT II, SCENE M.” The use of Roman Numerals is not uncommon to indicate “ACTS.” Instead of writing “ACT TWO,” one could also use “ACT II” (III, IV, V, and so on). Lettered scenes are sequential, beginning with “A”. Even with a new “ACT” scenes are always listed successively.
21st CENTURY TELEPLAYS
Try reading a script written for television back in the 1990s and then compare that to one written for Netflix. Styling rules for commercial-free teleplays are essentially non-existent. There are no “ACTS”, per se, and scenes are longer; looking more like movies than TV shows.
But for now, at least, teleplays for sitcoms, procedurals, and other dramas found on network TV still follow what I call, “traditional formatting.”
Now that you’re up-to-speed, have a look at some of the teleplays we have. You can read, download, and study at your leisure. We’re always open and our service is provided free of charge.
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