What Time of Year Do Shows Hire?

Linda asks:

If a television production is nearly done shooting for the season, would this be considered a poor time to contact the production office to inquire about open positions for a production assistant?

If so, when is the appropriate time to contact a television production office?

Most shows are nearly done by now, if not done already. Now is just about the worst time, for a PA, to look for a TV job. You might get lucky and find a pilot, but in my experience, those coordinators and ADs hire from a pool of PAs they already know.

In the next few months, though, the networks will begin announcing pick ups and renewals, leading up to the release of the fall schedule. Pay attention to the trades, and you’ll see which pilots are going to series, and which series are coming back for a new season.

As soon as you see one such announcement, start making calls. If you know someone who worked on the show, great! Use that connection. If not, check out this old post about contacting production offices. (The comments section has some handy suggestions, as well.)

In the meanwhile, enjoy those unemployment checks!

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6 Responses

  1. If a show begins filming in January, when is the best time to make contact regarding production assistant jobs? I already have the contact name and info of the show I’m interested in through using my network, however I don’t know how soon is too soon to start contacting a show that’s currently on hiatus. Thanks!

    1. January is a weird time, unfortunately, because everyone takes two weeks off for christmas. I’d wait until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. They’ll probably tell you it’s too soon, and you should contact them later. Wait a couple weeks and try again.

  2. Just to throw in my 2¢, I don’t know if TV shows are different from Features in this regard, but it’s really common for PA’s to leave a show with a week or so remaining so they don’t have to turn down the next 6 weeks of work. Those shows are looking to replace people to get the show done.

    It’s a crapshoot, but getting your name in there can’t do any harm.

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