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Five years ago, a good spec TV script could land you a job on staff. Now, everyone wants spec pilots. So where are the resources on how to write one? Enter William Rabkin: not only has he written and/or produced hundreds of hours of dramatic television, but he literally wrote the book on pilot writing.

William Rabkin served as showrunner on the long-running Dick Van Dyke mystery series Diagnosis Murder and on the action-adventure spectacle Martial Law. His many writing and producing credits include The Glades, Monk, Psych, Nero Wolfe, Missing, Spenser: For Hire, seaQuest 2032, Hunter and The Cosby Mysteries.

He has also written a dozen network TV pilots. His work has been nominated twice for the Edgar Award for best television episode by the Mystery Writers of America.

Writing the Pilot is not Bill’s first book on TV writing… he also co-wrote Successful Television Writing (2003), with Lee Goldberg. Bill is also the author of the novels A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read, Mind Over Magic, The Call of the Mild, A Fatal Frame of Mind, and Mind-Altering Murder.

Bill is the co-creator and co-editor of The Dead Man, a monthly series of supernatural action thrillers published by Amazon’s 47North imprint, and has written three instalments.

Rabkin is part of the core faculty of UCR-Palm Desert’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts.

Follow William Rabkin on Twitter: @writingthepilot

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

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Author: Gray Jones

Graham “Gray” Jones is a seasoned TV editor/writer located in Valencia, California (on the northern outskirts of LA). He has an honors Screenwriting BFA from York University, where he graduated with distinction in 1994.

He hosted one of the world’s leading TV-themed podcasts, "Chuck vs. the Podcast," about NBC’s Chuck, and currently hosts the "TV Writer Podcast," in partnership with Script Magazine.

He runs several companies, including,, and Check them out!