Want to sell a show? If you want to know what deal points to look for, keep reading.
When a company commits to shopping your series, they’ll send an option agreement. This gives them the exclusive right to sell your treatment or pilot script for a limited time. Option deals for scripted and unscripted projects are structurally the same, but scripted fees and purchase prices are higher. Budget and network play a large role in the fees. Development, production, and financial participation are somewhat negotiable, depending on your experience and stature in the industry.
There are a variety of factors that shape the structure and content of any deal.
Terms to look for, include:
- Option Fees & Purchase Price – the amount you receive from the company wanting to produce your show.
- Set-up bonus – a fee received when the company “exercises the option”.
- Episodic Fees – the creator/producer typically receives a % of the locked/episode budget.
- Profit Participations – creators often retain an interest in profits derived from the production and distribution of the show.
- On-Screen Credit – for unscripted, usually “Created by” and “Associate Producer” credit. For scripted, “Written by” or “Story by” and a negotiated producer credit and fee.