1. Ignore Canon. Don't be constrained by the 'official' version of events. Feel free to
re-write history or change the character's backstories whenever you feel like it. So what
if it was established that Character X is an intelligent, caring leader in the pilot. That's no
reason not to have him suddenly turn into a bad-tempered moron in season 4!
2. Recycle! Don't bother to come up with original plots, or develop existing themes.
'Pay homage' to your favorite movies and television shows by copying entire storylines. Don't bother to put a unique spin on the concept, or tailor the idea to fit the existing setting and characters. Simply make a few minor changes, and presto! You have a show. No one, (except for a few cranks) will notice the difference.
3. Murder She Wrote! Kill off existing characters whenever the whim strikes you. Don't listen to those whiny fans who aren't happy at seeing their favorite characters slaughtered for no good reason. Be sure to target any characters created by your predecessor(s).
4. New Kid In Town! Every show needs a 'fresh, new perspective''after a while. If that means that your most popular character has to be gotten rid of to make room for the new guy, so be it! Just get another actor who fits the general description. They'll get over it. Don't forget, to ensure that the new guy gains instant acceptance, have him be just like the old guy, only better! The fans will love it!
5. No Shades of Gray Here! Don't write your characters as flawed human beings, who struggle with moral issues, and sometimes fall short of perfection. No one wants to see that! Instead, make them 100% perfect 100% of the time. Our heroes are always right and anyone who disagrees with them is always wrong. It's not as if there can be two sides to a question, can there?
6. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better! Remember, the main characters must be metahumans. For example, have a character not only be an expert in every field of science known to mankind, but make her a fighter pilot, martial arts master and give her alien abilities as well. Or have your new protagonist absorb in three months the knowledge his predecessor took 36 years to learn. So what if they're supposed to be regular humans? The fans don't want complex, flawed, three-dimensional characters they can identify with. Give them one-dimensional superheroes instead. They'll thank you for it.
7. Action! Remember, the 18 - 24 male demographic is the only one that counts. So don't try to include any elements that may appeal to women/anyone over 25. You know, things like dialogue, character development, moral issues, intellectual discussions, or any boring garbage like that. Film each episode as if it were a live action video game. Blow things up real good! Spaceships! Women in spandex bikinis! We all know young men couldn't possible be interested in history or archaeology!
8. If It Ain't Broke Fix It Anyway! Don't get stuck in a rut. Sure, the original concept brought in the fans and was responsible for the show's success. But that's no reason not to completely change the show's premise midway through its run. Just imagine how much better 'Star Trek' would have been if they'd abandoned the Enterprise and all that
exploration nonsense, and concentrated on conspiracy stories instead. Why that franchise might have run for decades!
9. Civil War! Be sure to get involved with the on-line fandom. Create controversy whenever possible. Blatantly favor one faction over another. Contrary to what some believe, it's perfectly professional for the production staff of a television show to be friendly with a fan group whose only reason for existence is to ridicule of one of the actors and his fans. Go ahead, pour gasoline on the fire!
10. Constructive Criticism - Who Needs It! Ignore all negative feedback. Anything less than fulsome praise should be considered 'flaming'. Don't let the possibility that these whiners might have a point ever cross your mind. Just dismiss them as a 'vocal minority' no matter how many e-mails and letters you get. Remember, they're only fans - just because they're the reason you have a job doesn't mean their opinions count!