Guides, Treatments, and Pitches for Screenwriters

Blueprints for tv series part 1

Television Series Guidebooks, Treatments, and Pitches for Screenwriters

Read and download real examples of what showrunners use to help sell their project. Behold, the Bible.

They've been around almost as long as television itself. A "Writer's Guide", or a "Bible" as it's sometimes referred to, is the single most important blueprint a TV series can have.

Basically, the "Series Bible" describes how the show will thrive and tell a story. Just like religious texts from where its name derives, this "Bible" details how its characters, locations, and situations should tell the story of their life.

Showrunners and senior writers are generally the only production staff who have access to the most sacred of texts within the bible: how the series will end.

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If you're searching for a specific movie or TV show/series, please let us know. 8FLiX has more than 10,000 scripts and screenplays. Not all are currently listed here. Eventually, they'll all be available to download (but certainly not in your lifetime). To avoid waiting decades for 8FLiX to add the script that you're looking for, send us an email. You still may have to wait, but it'll be days rather than generations.

How to Write a Series Bible

Bigger isn't always better.

"Bibles" can be as detailed as "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's 53-page "Writer's Guide" to "T.O.S." Written in 1967, its basic principals are still followed to-this-day by "Star Trek" writers; no mater the franchise, movie, or Star Date.

Alternatively, a "Writer's Guide" can be as simple as "The Dead Zone's" seasonal 5-page "dos and don'ts" memos. This type of approach encourages writers to pitch specific episode storylines, while still developing the sub-plots and arc of the series' main characters.

A well written "Writer's Guide" enables new scribes, who have no historical knowledge of the series, to pitch a storyline, write it, and eventually produce 'their' episode without disrupting the long-established vibe.

Discover What We Have

Is there a format one needs to follow when writing the Series Bible?

The short answer is: no!

We have more than 30 examples of pitches, treatments, and writer's guides available to discover! And unlike writing scripts, creating a series bible doesn't necessarily follow an industry standard. That's why 8FLiX has included a wide-variety of examples below. Read and study how others have done it, and in how many different ways showrunners have been able to communicate their ideas. Each is as unique as the next one.

Enjoy the reads!


Battlestar Galactica

Seasons: 4 (2004–2009)

When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protect a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth.

Battlestar Galactica small poster
Type ...
Date ... 12.17.2003
Genres ... ActionAdventureDrama
Showrunner ... Ronald D. Moore
IMDb ID ... 0407362


Seasons: 1 (2016)

Follow two families living in a Southwest desert town on the United States-Mexico border and how these two families inevitably cross and are bound by friendship and conflict.

Bordertown small poster
Type ...
Date ... [undated]
Genres ... AnimationComedy
Showrunner ... Mark Hentemann
IMDb ID ... 3323254


Seasons: 4 (1967–1972)

David Callan is the top agent/assassin for the Security Service (British counterintelligence), but he is an embittered man who performs his duties "for Queen and country" under duress. This bleak, "Spy who Came in from the Cold"-style espionage drama concentrates on the seamy underside of covert operations: assassinations, blackmail and dirty dealing.

Callan small poster
Type ...
Date ... 11.28.1966
Genres ... CrimeDramaMystery
Showrunner ... James Mitchell
IMDb ID ... 0061238

Charlie Jade

Seasons: 1 (2005)

A missing persons detective finds himself caught between three parallel universes.

Charlie Jade small poster
Type ...
Date ... 10.07.2003
Genres ... CrimeDramaMystery
Showrunners ... Chris RolandRobert Wertheimer
IMDb ID ... 0408378

The Corner

Seasons: 1 (2000)

Chronicles West Baltimore family living in poverty on the front lines of America's drug war.

The Corner small poster
Type ...
Date ... [undated]
Genres ... CrimeDrama
Showrunners ... Ed BurnsDavid SimonDavid Mills
IMDb ID ... 0224853

The Crow: Stairway to Heaven

Seasons: 1 (1998–1999)

A deceased street musician returns to life, and must restore the balance between good and evil to be reunited with his dead girlfriend.

The Crow Stairway to Heaven small poster
Type ...
Date ... 03.28.1998
Genres ... ActionCrimeDrama
Showrunners ... Bryce Zabel
IMDb ID ... 0166425

Dark Skies

Seasons: 1 (1996–1997)

In 1960s America, a young couple struggle to expose the truth about a hidden alien invasion, while a secret government organization follows its own agenda in dealing with the threat.

Dark Skies small poster
Type ...
Date ... 02.08.1995
Genres ... AdventureDramaMystery
Showrunners ... Brent V. FriedmanBryce Zabel
IMDb ID ... 0115151

The Dead Zone

Seasons: 6 (2002–2007)

Johnny had the perfect life until he was in coma for six years. When he awoke, he found his fiancée married to another man. His son doesn't know him. Everything's changed, including Johnny. With one touch, he can see things.

The Dead Zone tv series small poster
Type ...
Date ... 08.25.2003
Genres ... DramaFantasyMystery
Showrunners ... Michael PillerShawn Piller
IMDb ID ... 0281432

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Seasons: 2 (2016–2017)

Holistic detective Dirk Gently investigates cases involving the supernatural.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency tv series small poster
Type ...
Date ... 11.13.2015
Genres ... ActionAdventureComedy
Showrunner ... Max Landis
IMDb ID ... 4047038

Family Biz

Seasons: 1 (2009)

Three latchkey kids are at their wits end when their corporate dad gets downsized and decides to work from home, ruining their teen insanity lifestyle. Too bad they can't just fire dad!

Family Biz series small poster
Type ...
Date ... 06.11.2007
Genres ... Comedy
Showrunner ... James Nadler
IMDb ID ... 1167346
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