Since then, WGA contracts have adapted to meet the needs of writers working on streaming-only shows like those on Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. Writers are paid a weekly rate, a per-episode fee, or a combination of both, according to Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East. Writers are also paid a higher rate for a longer script.
"It’s called the story and teleplay rate [and] for a short episode, [it] is definitely lower than an hour," Peterson says.
Despite technology’s influence in morphing the medium, some old school conventions continue to prevail. The online network of screenwriters and buyers, The Black List’s TV Script Standards guide advises writers to keep pilot scripts between 22 and 32 pages for half-hour comedies and 45 and 63 pages for one-hour dramas. "Page counts are essential to networks and executives because of that all-important advertising space, something that must be accounted for when writing for television," the guide reads.