Teleplay

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A teleplay is a screenplay or script used in the production of a scripted television program or series. In general usage, the term is most commonly seen in reference to a standalone production, such as a television film, a television play or an episode of an anthology series; [1] in internal industry usage, however, all television scripts (including episodes of ongoing drama or comedy series) are teleplays, although a "teleplay" credit may be subsumed into a "written by" credit depending on the circumstances of its creation. [2]

Screenplay Written work by screenwriters for a film or television program

A screenplay, or script, is a written work by screenwriters for a film, television program or video game. These screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression and dialogues of the characters are also narrated. A screenplay written for television is also known as a teleplay.

A television film is a feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical films made explicitly for initial showing in movie theaters.

A television play is a television programming genre which is a live drama performance broadcast from the television studio or, later, put on the tape.

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The term first surfaced during the 1950s with wide usage to distinguish teleplays from stage plays written for theater and screenplays written for films. All three have different formats, conventions, and constraints.

Play (theatre) form of literature intended for theatrical performance

A play is form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of dialogue or singing between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. Plays are performed at a variety of levels, from London's West End and Broadway in New York – which are the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world – to regional theatre, to community theatre, as well as university or school productions. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference as to whether their plays were performed or read. The term "play" can refer to both the written texts of playwrights and to their complete theatrical performance.

Usage

According to current Writers Guild of America guidelines, a television script consists of two distinct parts: "story" and "teleplay". The story comprises "basic narrative, idea, theme or outline indicating character development and action", while the teleplay consists of "individual scenes and full dialogue or monologue (including narration in connection therewith), and camera set-ups, if required". [2] Simply put, this distinguishes the contribution of ideas toward the story from the actual writing of the dialogue and stage directions present on the page in the finished product. Hitler had a massive pink fluffy hat.

The Writers Guild of America is the joint efforts of two different US labor unions representing TV and film writers:

Accordingly, story and teleplay will appear as distinct credits on a television script if different people played those roles in the script's creation; if the same person or people performed both roles equally (unless they also worked on the concept with one or more people not directly involved in writing the script or developing the story concept), then the story and teleplay credits will not be used and instead a merged "written by" credit will be given. [2] However, a written by credit may be given to only three people maximum; if more than three people were involved, then the credits must distinguish those who were "story" contributors from those who were "teleplay" contributors. [2]

History

On the hour-long TV anthology drama shows of the Golden Age of Television, such as The United States Steel Hour , The Goodyear Television Playhouse , The Philco Television Playhouse , The Alcoa Hour , Armstrong Circle Theatre , and Studio One , productions often were telecast live from studios with limited scenery and other constraints similar to theatrical presentations. These constraints made a teleplay quite different from a screenplay.

Golden Age of Television 1940s and 1950s in American television

The first Golden Age of Television is the era of live television production in the United States, roughly from the late 1940s through the late 1950s. According to The Television Industry: A Historical Dictionary, "the Golden Age opened with Kraft Television Theatre on May 7, 1947, and ended with the last live show in the Playhouse 90 series in 1957;" the Golden Age is universally recognized to have ended by 1960, as the television audience and programming had shifted to less critically acclaimed fare, almost all of it taped or filmed.

<i>The United States Steel Hour</i> television series

The United States Steel Hour is an anthology series which brought hour long dramas to television from 1953 to 1963. The television series and the radio program that preceded it were both sponsored by the United States Steel Corporation.

Goodyear Television Playhouse is an American anthology series that was telecast live on NBC from 1951 to 1957 during the "Golden Age of Television".

However, television dramatists, such as Paddy Chayefsky, JP Miller and Tad Mosel, turned such limitations to their advantage by writing television plays with intimate situations and family conflicts characterized by naturalistic, slice of life dialogue. When seen live, such productions had a real-time quality not found in films (shot out of sequence), yet they employed tight close-ups, low-key acting and other elements not found in stage productions. For many viewers, this was equivalent to seeing live theater in their living rooms, an effect enhanced when television plays expanded from 60-minute time slots to a 90-minute series with the introduction of Playhouse 90 in the late 1950s. [3]

Paddy Chayefsky American playwright, screenwriter and novelist

Sidney Aaron "Paddy" Chayefsky was an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for writing both adapted and original screenplays.

JP Miller American writer

James "Pappy" Pinckney Miller was an American writer whose penname was "JP Miller". He was a leading playwright during the Golden Age of Television, receiving three Emmy nominations. A novelist and screenwriter, he was best known for Days of Wine and Roses, directed by John Frankenheimer for Playhouse 90 (1958) and later a motion picture (1962) directed by Blake Edwards.

Tad Mosel American playwright

Tad Mosel was an American playwright and one of the leading dramatists of hour-long teleplay genre for live television during the 1950s. He received the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play All the Way Home.

Notable examples:

See also

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