Amy writes: Did it seem like specs written for a timeline that accounts for the developments of the most recent season but maybe not the season finale would have a fair chance? Or would they totally be discounted?
Other people have asked similar questions. And I think the answer is: think about the BIG picture. Think about writing a solid spec that shows your ability to mimic character voices and tone while also showing off your own unique talents. Be interesting. Be smart. Explore a theme. Beef up your act-outs. Write subtext. Weave your subplots into your main plot. Polish your dialogue.
It is always a good idea to have a spec that's up-to-date in terms of plot and storyline, but remember that most producers, execs, agents and readers will not have seen every single episode of the show. They won't be totally up-to-date. They might not have seen ANY episodes. They also don't expect that you have a brand new spec every single week. So, no - a spec that did not take the most recent season finale in account would probably not be discounted. Because there's a good chance your reader did not see that season finale. Someone asked if an OFFICE spec in which Pam is a receptionist and not a salesperson would be ready for the recycle bin. I say no - because many readers probably still think Pam is the receptionist. But in a few months, it won't be so viable. (And also - would it really be that hard to take a pass at the script and make her a salesperson?)
Anyway, please don't worry about this stuff so much. Worry about writing a really great script.