Since I’ve been writing a bit more about cocktails lately — online publications and my own newsletter — someone actually wrote to me, “You should host your own cocktail travel series.”

And I’ll admit that TV is something I have been considering. But it’s also something that I know nothing about. 

According to an article in Marketing Showrunners, structure is a vital component of any great TV show. 

“Every show knows its episode “rundown,” the unique format that makes its episodes work,” writes Jay Acunzo in the article.  

“Every showrunner knows how to use this structure to create better work, not only repeating the same format, but playing with it and innovating with a purpose, in tiny ways, to keep the content fresh.”

Although “the format” is something that people “don’t see”, it’s what makes a TV show stand out. At the same time, it provides writers a framework to fill out. 

Acunzo suggests an exercise that one can use to understand the structure of TV shows. He calls it “extraction”. 

“Grab a notebook and a pen, and go watch your favorite show — the one you want to model yours after. 

“See if you can’t find the underlying structure of a given episode. Try to “extract” their format,” he writes.

He adds that a showrunner’s job is to get the audience from start to finish. But first, we need to know where to start. 

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