Josephine writes: Do you have any advice on writing specs for TV shows with long storylines? I'm writing a Grey's Anatomy spec and a lot of their storylines overlap into several episodes. Do I write a "Previously On" montage? Or should I just hint at previous storylines in my dialogue?
That's a very good question. You'll probably hear differing opinions on this, but the heads of the ABC/Disney Fellowship recommended that you include a page at the beginning of your script (that's not part of the script itself) that quickly lays out what's going on with the plots & characters. I would imagine it would be as simple as:
Previously on Grey's Anatomy:
Izzie and Meredith are secretly dating
The Chief died in a mysterious accident
Bailey finally sought help for videogame addiction
Karev and McDreamy broke off their engagement
(I haven't watched in a couple seasons, but I imagine that's what's happening.)
So, no - don't write a montage (I think it would be pretty cheesy/clunky), and don't go out of your way to make the dialogue informative (I don't think it'll sound natural). Give us a little guide and then write the way you would write for someone who knows what's going on.