TV Storytelling Formulas that Make a Hit Show….or Brand

If you’re a TV lover like me and curious about what makes you binge-watch a show until 3 AM, eyes glazed, one hand deep in a bag of popcorn…well, get comfy, because we're about to unravel the oh-so-enticing world of TV storytelling formulas, that seem to mirror a lot of what goes into building a brand.

Think back to your favorite TV shows. Notice any patterns? You might not believe it, but many follow tried-and-true storytelling templates that keep you glued to the screen. First up is the evergreen 'Procedural formula.' Think 'CSI' or 'House.' Each episode is a new case or patient, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. It's a neat little package with a satisfying conclusion before the credits roll. Drama, suspense, resolution – all in an hour.

Or the 'Serial formula,' the champions of binge-watching. 'Breaking Bad,' 'Stranger Things,' you get the drift. It's a continuous storyline explored over several episodes or seasons. Here, the stakes are high, the suspense is fever-pitch, and the cliffhangers – oh boy, they're killers!

Then we have the 'Fish out of water formula.' Ever laughed your head off watching 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?’ That's this formula at play. These shows take a character out of their comfort zone and into a completely new environment. It's a guaranteed recipe for comedy (or drama) gold.

The 'Will They, Won't They formula' is also a fan favorite. 'Friends' fans, remember Ross and Rachel's rollercoaster romance? It's about pairing up two characters, heating up their chemistry, and keeping the audience guessing if they'll end up together.

Let's not forget the 'Ensemble Cast formula' ― 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Office,' 'Money Heist,' you name it. These shows cleverly weave together multiple storylines, offering diverse characters for the audience to root for (or hate!).

So, what's the secret sauce here? It's the art of keeping your audience emotionally invested. It's about creating relatable characters, suspenseful situations, and heart-tugging moments that keep viewers craving for more.

But remember, while formulas provide a useful structure, it's the unique spin that really makes a show stand out. It's about finding the right balance between familiar and fresh and delivering it with clarity, consistency, and creativity.


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