Writing Hollywood : The Work and Professional Culture of Television Writers book cover
1st Edition

Writing Hollywood
The Work and Professional Culture of Television Writers

ISBN 9781138229822
Published September 5, 2017 by Routledge
122 Pages

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Book Description

Writing Hollywood highlights the writing process in the production of television drama and comedy series in the U.S. The way writers do their jobs is heavily dependent not only on the demands of commercial business, but also on the uncertainties inherent in a writing career in Hollywood. Drawing on literature in the fields of Media Industry Studies and Occupational Culture, Writing Hollywood explains writers’ efforts to control risk and survive in a constantly changing environment.

Using data from personal interviews and a six-week participant observation at a prime time drama, Dr. Phalen analyzes the relationships among writers in series television, describes the interactions between writers and studio/network executives, and explains how endogenous and exogenous pressures affect the occupational culture of the television writing profession.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: From Amos & Andy to The Shield

Chapter 2: From Idea to Story to Script…and Back Again

Chapter 3: Where the Buck Stops


Chapter 4: "Managed" Creativity: "It’s a weird way to create"

Chapter 5: Welcome to the Writers’ Room: "High school for rich, angry, smart people"?

Chapter 6: Political Spaces: "There aren’t any rules, but you have to follow every one."

Chapter 7: Global Hollywood

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Patricia F. Phalen is the Assistant Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, USA. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on media organizations; the connections between Hollywood and politics; audience research; and the interdependence of media, democracy and culture.


"This book offers value for students in courses on television writing, television production, and media industries, as well as those simply looking to break into the television industry. [...] Through its accumulation of voices, Writing Hollywood shakes off many of the romantic ideas about television writing and replaces them with some invaluable insights into the lived reality of television writing as a career." --Kate Fortmueller in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly