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Two TV shows from script to screen

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how the programs 'That's So Raven' and 'Darcy's Wild Life' made their way into your living room.

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Ever wonder how your favorite TV sitcom got on the air? There are, of course, many different ways a show can reach the tube. But, as several new programs launch this week, we thought we'd explore how two children's shows made their way into living rooms across America.

For one of the creators of the show "That's So Raven," now in its third season, it all began with an idea and a conversation. The children's sitcom, which airs on the Disney Channel and ABC Kids, is about a fun-loving teenage girl who sees a little bit into the future.

"Initially, a friend of mine named Susan Sherman had an idea about a buddy comedy," says Michael Poryes, a co-writer and producer of the show. "We asked ourselves: 'What is the one thing an adolescent would want to be able to do?' To see into the future! To know if you talk to that boy, that he'd be interested.... To see what is coming around the next block.... That's where it was when we pitched it."

A "pitch" is when writers talk to network programmers about their concept to see if they'd like it developed into a script. The pitch is important - it's the first big hurdle to getting a show on the air. A well-known writer has an easier time lining up a meeting. Mr. Poryes has been working in TV for quite a while, so executives were willing to listen to his and Ms. Sherman's ideas.

Meanwhile, writer/producer Stan Rogow didn't really have to sell the network on his idea for the show "Darcy's Wild Life," which debuts its second season Oct. 1 on Discovery Kids on NBC. Discovery actually approached Mr. Rogow (who also created the hit TV series "Lizzie McGuire") and asked him if he would help create a show for Saturday mornings.


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