How To Write The Engine Of Your TV Series

Screenwriting support.

Gideon's Screenwriting Tips: Now You're a Screenwriter

There is a term bandied around TV writers rooms called the ENGINE. What exactly is the engine of a TV show?

As its name suggests, the simplest way to describe your story engine, is to define what drives every episode in the series. The engine is the nerve center of your TV series. It defines the starting point of your TV series as well as the trajectory of each season.

What are the key elements of an engine? Most importantly, the engine defines what your story isn’t and what it isn’t. Your engine keeps your story on track.


The premise is really the concept of your TV show. For example, 2 Broke Girls is a workplace sitcom about two financially-challenged waitresses in a Brooklyn diner.

The Bing Bang Theory is an urban tribe sitcom about nerdy scientists.

Girl Boss is a semi-biopic about Sophia Amoruso, the founder of the online Nasty…

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