Mixing interviews, essays, and representative scripts of three successful television dramatists, the book will be of immeasurable use to the novice scriptwriter. Designed to inspire the fledgling scriptwriter, this book combines analytical essays on the work of three successful television writers with interviews and complete scripts printed in correct professional format. The writers Marion Hargrove (Maverick, The Waltons), James Dougherty (thirtysomething), and Michael Kozell (Hill Street Blues) are used as examples of professionals who developed a personal voice and a distinctive style while serving as staff writers for existing prime-time television programs. Douglas Heil theorizes that students of television scriptwriting need to engage in ""close study of exemplary writing"" and the three full scripts he offers are useful models of humane and entertaining drama. The book is not only of value to aspiring scriptwriters but also to those readers with a general interest in media history.
Douglas Heil is professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He is the writer and producer of the short film The Story of the Cat. He has also published numerous essays, short dramas, and reviews.