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Film Studies: Television Series

Whether you are a film student looking for research materials or just want to sit back and enjoy a classic movie, this guide will help direct you to resources to make your search easier.

Why television? The Missouri State University Department of Media, Journalism and Film is now offering a graduate certificate in screenwriting for television and film. In order to support the curriculum, we are building a collection of significant television series. In most cases, we will purchase just the first season.

The television collection is located at call number DVD PN1992.77

Find TV Scripts Online

What Is a Series Bible?

A series or show bible is a reference document used by screenwriters to help establish continuity as a show evolves over time (and as members of the production team come and go). Even the smallest bits of information about a character, once mentioned in an episode, would typically be added to the bible. For example, the bible for the Frasier show (which ran on NBC for 11 seasons, from 1993 to 2004) included Nile's favorite professor, Martin's favorite bar, and a long list of Maris; food allergies).

A variation is the pitch bible, which is used more for "selling" a show to a network. These typically discuss the characters and their back stories, any quirks, and a discussion of plot lines (more detailed in Season 1, but often projecting possible developments into future seasons).


21 Series Bibles That Every TV Screenwriter Should Read


Explore more examples online!


 

Our Complete Television Collection

30 Rock (Season 1)

Created by Tina Fey; aired on NBC from 2006 to 2013.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Season 1)

Created, hosted, and produced by Alfred Hitchcock; aired on CBS and NBC from 1955 to1965.

Arrested Development (Season 1)

Created by Michaeel Hurwitz; aired on Fox from 2003 to 2006.

Band of Brothers (a 10-episode miniseries)

Executive Producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks; aired on HBO from September 9 to November 4, 2001.

Barry (Season 1)

Created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader; aired on HBO from 2018 - present. Season 3 currently postponed due to the pandemic.

Breaking Bad (Season 1)

Created and produced by Vince Gilligan; aired on AMC from 2008 to 2013.

Caprica (complete, Seasons 1.0, 1.5)

Created by Ronald D. Moore; aired on Syfy from January to November, 2010.

Dexter (Season 1)

Created by James Manos Jr; aired on Showtime from 2006 to 2013.

Downton Abbey (Season 1)

Created by Julian Fellowes; aired on PBS from 2011 to 2015.

Fargo (Season 1)

Created by Noah Hawley; aired on FX from 2014 to present. Filming for Season 4 has been delayed due to the pandemic.

Game of Thrones (complete, Seasons 1-7)

Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; aired on HBO from 2011 to 2019.

The Handmaid's Tale (Seasons 1, 2)

Created by Bruce Miller; aired on Hulu from 2017 to present .

The Hollow Crown (a 7-episode British miniseries)

Homeland (Season 1)

Developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa; aired on Showtime from 2011 to 2020.

In Treatment (Season 1)

Produced and developed by Rodrigo Garcia; aired on HBO from 2008 - present. The fourth season is due in 2021.

Modern Family (Season 1)

Created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan; aired on ABC from 2009 to 2020.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 - the Gamera collection

The Office (Season 1)

Created by Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervaise, and Stephen Merchant; aired on NBC from 2005 to 2013.

The Pacific (a 10-episode miniseries)

Created by Bruce C. McKenna with Hugh Ambrose as consultant; aired on HBO from March 24 to May 16, 2010.

Parks and Recreation (Season 1)

Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur; aired on NBC from 2009 to 2015.

The People vs. O.J. Simpson (a 10-episide miniseries)

This was the debut of the FX true-crime series American Crime Story; it aired from February 2 to April 5, 2016.

Sherlock (Seasons 1-3)

Sherlock Holmes - the complete Granada television series

Six Feet Under (Season 1)

Created and produced by Alan Ball; aired on HBO from 2001 to 2005.

The Sopranos (Season 1)

Created by David Chased; aired on HBO from 1999 to 2007.

True Blood (Season 1)

Created and produced by Alan Ball; aired on HBO from 2008 to 2014.

True Detective (Season 1)

Created and written by Nic Pizzolatto; aired on HBO from 2014 to 2019.

The Walking Dead (Season 1)

Developed by Frank Darabont; aired on AMC from 2010 to present.

The Wire (Season1)

Created by David Simon; aired on HBO from 2002 to 2008.