Tim Minear (writer/occasional director/exectuive producer for Firefly) gave a seminar on breaking a story at the 4th Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles last year, and it’s available on DVD. And I just watched it. And it’s good.
The idea is that the auditorium is a huge writer’s room, and they’re all writing an episode of Angel. Audience members pitch ideas and if he doesn’t think they’ll work he explains why, if he thinks he can use part of the idea he will, and if he likes the idea he gets a delighted look on his face and writes them up on the white board.
You won’t see an entire episode fleshed out. You will see how an episode gets thought out, and you’ll hear tantalizing ideas for an episode of Angel that never happened but I really wish had (vampire weddings, sacrifices, some guest stars from Buffy, and a surprise twist). And the reasons ideas are rejected or accepted give you an unparalled look into the different things you have to consider to write a TV show. You also get jokes, tidbits from the shows he worked on and the writers he worked with, tips on writing specs, and how to take I Love Lucy into a very dark place.
This is an edited version of the seminar, as you can tell from the occasional jumps and ssegmented discussions. You can fill in some of the missing stuff with this excellent summary from someone who was at the seminar.
Funny, informative, well worth watching, and it just makes you want to go write something. 90 mins. Buy it from Creative Screenwriting.