Writing an Original TV Drama Serial
From pitch to pilot – work on your original TV drama with top industry professionals.
Across 18-weeks, 15 talented writers will each develop an idea for a drama serial, write a 60-minute pilot episode and evolve a plan for further episodes – supported by the expert teaching of experienced screenwriter, producer and director Jamie Nuttgens.
Plus a series of six masterclasses from leading TV industry professionals, including Curtis Brown’s Theatre, Film and Television agents, and an in-depth one-to-one tutorial from an experienced producer Rachel Wardlow.
Jamie Nuttgens is an award-winning writer, producer and director in TV and Film with over 25 years’ experience working with writers across different genres and platforms. After a career in Rep and Devised Theatre and as a Writer-Producer in Commercial Radio, he joined BBC Drama Serials to Script Edit Jimmy McGovern’s The Lakes. After a stint at Casualty he moved to ITV to produce The Bill and a spin-off series, Burnside. For Channel 4 he developed and co-produced Red Riding, a series of TV films based on David Peace’s Northern Noir novels. He has produced the award-winning work of UK Indian writer-director, Smita Bhide, including Cup & Lip, The Blue Tower (Best UK Feature Raindance Film Festival) and Another Planet (Golden Award IFF Goa). His own writing has included Casualty, The Bill and Crossroads. He is currently Head of Drama at Ten66 Television (Black Lesbian Handbook / Love In The Flesh). At the Met Film School, Ealing Studios, he headed the MA in Screenwriting since 2013, is currently Lecturer in Screenwriting at Oxford University and has been a visiting lecturer at NFTS, La Femis Paris, Northern Film School, Westminster, Polish Film School Lodz, and Blanquerna Barcelona.
Rachel is a freelance producer, story producer & line producer working across film, television and the commercial sector with an extensive background in film and television drama development. Recently Rachel was Head of Development/Producer for Emma Frost and Matthew Graham's Watford & Essex. Previously, she was Acting Head of Development for Film and Limited Series at See-Saw Films as well as Story Producer/Editor and Script Executive on three series (2 Dramas and 1 animation) for channels including Sky, Showtime, Netflix and Viaplay with writers Clive Bradley, Peter Straughan and Helen Edmundson.
Her previous credits include producing Shamed and Something More for C4; Line-producing 6 Wives with Lucy Worsley for the BBC and line-producing a micro budget feature film, I am Nasrine, which was nominated for a BAFTA and a number of short films including: Inseparable starring Benedict Cumberbatch; award-winning Incorporated and Nipplejesus which was adapted from Nick Hornby’s short story of the same title. The films screened at festivals including London International Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Brest and LA Shorts. Rachel regularly tutors students studying on the Screenwriting and Producing MA programmes at the NFTS. Alongside her freelance work, Rachel is developing a small slate of projects through her company, Ilk Film and Television. Her project, Punch was selected for Film London’s Microwave scheme in 2015.
What does this course give you?
- Live teaching sessions in London: Jamie Nuttgens will teach on topics important for developing and writing a TV drama serial – and which support the masterclasses. Topics include character development, structure, plot, endings and more.
- A community of writers: Our selective applications process means that you will be writing your TV drama in a peer group of 15 students working at a high level. We have developed a bespoke learning platform exclusively for our students. Here you can give and receive feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and tutors. Many of our former students have found their trusted readers with us – and form strong working friendships with classmates which go on long after the course is over.
- Group workshops: On 10 evenings, Jamie Nuttgens will lead group workshops live in London or on Zoom giving dedicated feedback on 2,000-word extracts of your pilot script. Each student gets two workshops focused on their own work across the course.
- 1-to-1 tutorials: You'll get a 25-minute one-to-one tutorial with Jamie, as well as a 45-minute tutorial with producer Rachel Wardlow.
- 5 industry masterclasses: Top TV professionals share their expertise during five special Zoom/in-person sessions. Key leading figures from all key stages of the production process will guide students through the process of drama development, with focus on students' work.
- Agent Q&A: TV agents from Curtis Brown will talk about the agent's role and answer questions on the industry and how to get your work noticed.
- Pitching panel: Students will verbally pitch their TV project to two industry experts and get individual feedback on how to improve their pitch to make it as strong as possible.
- Share your work with agents: At the end of the course all students will be invited to informally share the first fifteen pages of your pilot script (max 2,200 words) plus 50-word pitch and 300-word outline for the series with the Curtis Brown agent team. Agents may request to see more.
TV professionals will lead masterclass sessions, speakers will include writers, producers, agents and script editors. Industry speakers to be confirmed.
All teaching and workshop sessions take place on Monday evenings, in central London from 7pm to 9pm. Some masterclass sessions may take place on Zoom, these will run from 7pm to 8.45pm.
The exact dates and locations of the masterclasses are to be confirmed. Classes may be moved from London to Zoom depending on circumstances, with prior notification to all concerned.
We are passionate about the safety and comfort of our students and continue to closely monitor the ongoing Covid-19 situation – you can read the current version of our Covid protocol here. The protocol is reviewed, ongoing throughout the duration of the course, and our students and staff will be kept fully informed of any amendments made in their interests.
INTRODUCTIONMon 10 Oct
THE PITCHMon 17 Oct
CENTRAL CHARACTERMon 24 Oct
MASTERCLASS 1: SHOWRUNNER/WRITERMon 31 Oct
PLOTTING THE SERIALMon 7 Nov
MASTERCLASS 2: PRODUCERWeds 16 Nov
PLOTTING THE PILOTMon 21 Nov
MASTERCLASS 3: SCRIPT EDITORMon 28 Nov
SCENE-WRITING 1: STRUCTUREMon 5 Dec
MASTERCLASS 4: COMMISSIONER/EXECUTIVE PRODUCERMon 12 Dec
Winter breakNo teaching until the new year
SCENE-WRITING 2: POINT OF VIEWMon 9 Jan
SCENE-WRITING 3: WRITING THROUGH ACTIONMon 16 Jan
MASTERCLASS 5: DIRECTORMon 23 Jan
DRAMATIC TIME & PACEMon 30 Jan
ENDINGS & REWRITINGMon 6 Feb
THE PITCH & TROUBLE-SHOOTINGMon 13 Feb
Q&A with TV AGENTS FROM CURTIS BROWNMon 20 Feb
PITCHING PANELMon 27 Feb
Our selective applications process means that you will be writing your script in a peer group of 15 students working at a high level.
The course fee of £2,800 (inc VAT) per student is payable, in full, by bank transfer. Funds must reach our bank account before the course begins. If you are unable to pay the full fee upfront, let us know and we can arrange an installment plan.
Please apply with the opening of your pilot script (up to fifteen pages – maximum 2,200 words) in industry standard format, 300 words synopsising your entire pilot episode and 300 words synopsising the rest of your serial. All of these materials need to be in the same document, as you can only upload ONE PDF file.
The CBC team will select applicants based on the quality of the writing sample provided. The deadline for applications is midnight, end of day Sunday 18 September, and we will respond to applicants by Thursday 22 September.
Please upload your application via the form below. If you encounter any problems during the application process, or have any more questions about the course, please email email@example.com for assistance.
There is a scholarship place available, it will provide a free place on this course for one talented writer of colour with limited financial means. This opportunity is offered as part of our Breakthrough Writers' Programme for under-represented writers. Applications close Sun 25 Sept, please apply by using the application form found when you click the button below.
Our London-based TV screenwriting course, featuring masterclasses from top TV professionals and Curtis Brown agents.