Entertainment Law Services

Intellectual Property and Media Law Term Glossary


Broadcast Territory
The territory where the series will be aired.
The sale of the right to broadcast a show to individual stations.
Cable Company
HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, AMC are all cable companies. Like networks they produce and license programming, which they broadcast to their audience. Anyone wishing to view cable company content must subscribe to it via a cable provider, and pay a fee.
ABC, CBS, NBC, WB and Fox are all television networks. The provide "free" programming to the television audience and either produce their own shows or license them from production companies. They earn revenues by selling air time to advertisers.
Producers may enter into an agreement whereby they give a television network, cable company or production company the right to compel them to produce and deliver a pilot, series, etc.
A test episode, which is produced, so that the network, cable company or production company can determine a television series' viability.
Public Television
Television stations that are not funded through advertising or cable fees. They are usually funded by government grants and charitable contributions.
Series License Fee
The amount of money that the network/cable company will pay the production company per episode of the series. It usually equals the cost of production. The series does not generally become profitable until it goes into syndication.
Series Order
An order from a television network/cable company for a specific number of episodes of aparticular series from the producer.
Series Term
A commitment from a television network/cable company for a certain number of broadcast cycles. Each broadcast cycle equals a television season. Very often the first broadcast cycle (year one of the series) is 13 weeks in length and the subsequent broadcast cycles (i.e., years 2-5) are 26.
Talent Holding Deal
A television network, cable company and/or production company may enter into an agreement, with an actor for whom they are developing a show, whereby they pay the actor to be exclusive to them for a period of time. In other words, the actor cannot accept a role on another show until the "holding" period expires.
Turnaround/Holding Period
When a television network, cable or production company agrees to pay a writer to write a story or teleplay based on a series pitch, it may require a period of exclusivity to decide if it wants to produce a pilot based on the teleplay and/or to negotiate the terms and condition said pilot's production.
The television version of a screenplay.
Unscripted Series
A reality show.