SPEC CHAT: No, not that Blacklist

Spec Chat is written by Javier Barrios, the WGF's Acquisitions Manager.

Hi everyone, and welcome to Spec Chat – a periodic and informal rant on speccing and other television writing issues. Our first topic is simple, short and sweet: The new network shows. If you’re wondering what new fall shows might become the specs of tomorrow, here are two dramas and three half hours that you might want to keep on your radar, and why.


THE BLACKLIST – a ratings hit for NBC, and people are really enjoying this show. One fan I spoke to was so enthusiastic he told me beat by beat the twist and turns of the second episode. This might be good series to show off your better-than-average procedural chops. Also, it looks like the show might stick around for a while, which is always great for a spec’s longevity. But keep in mind that this may be a show that could get overspecced later the future, so the earlier you get to it, the better off you might be.

SLEEPY HOLLOW – here is a show that I feel could replace FRINGE as a hot genre spec. Not everyone will be speccing it, but those do have a chance to explore eerie, supernatural themes and simultaneously flex their cop-procedural and serialized muscles.


Comedy is a tricky one this fall season because so far, there doesn’t seem to be a breakout hit in half-hour as there is for in the one-hour category (That hit being The Blacklist, of course).

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is being heralded as a smart workplace comedy with fresh characters. One fan I spoke to told me that she felt like she had been watching the show for a few years because the characters seemed so comfortable in their settings and in their relationships with one another. The only danger for this series is cancelation, but hopefully that won’t happen.

The next two shows, THE GOLDBERGS and TROPHY WIFE, are probably lesser choices with similar strengths and weaknesses. A review I read about THE GOLDBERGS mentioned that the series seemed to be figuring out exactly what it was, and for TROPHY WIFE, another review mentioned that there was so much going on in the show, it’s hard to figure out just what the show is. Time will tell if the shows find their legs as far as ratings, so it’ll be interesting to see what develops.

We at the library will do our best to secure scripts from the above mentioned series and others, but please bear in mind that sometimes it can be an arduous process and always takes time.