"There have been many threats of lawsuits between US networks over what they call too close copying. I don’t think any of these have gotten to court, but I’m fairly sure that some shows have never made it to the air.
But the entertainment industry is in general a different beast than the print industry, and it is next to impossible to make direct comparisons of law or practice. For example, the Writers Guild of America - West, basically the screenwriters union, does indeed have an idea depository that members can place dated material into. This is for members only and is first subject to binding internal arbitration, so there is absolutely nothing like it in the print world. Perhaps this is where the very mistaken idea of sending yourself material comes from in urban legend form.
Reality shows are not “scripted” in this sense, so they are governed by different rules, but are still subject to basic copyright practices."
That’s from the only thread (lost link) close to my question. Once your put your story or show idea into a format in writing, and aren’t part of the guild. How do you protect it once you start sending it around. And who do you start sending it to? I assume companies are wary of reading scripts.