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. This course will run from 12 Oct 2023 to 29 Feb 2024.
I am hugely grateful to this course for all I learnt and for introducing me to my now agent. The masterclasses from TV professionals and the tutor led sessions were incredibly informative. As well as helping me learn how best to write TV drama, I was also able to gain a greater understanding of the industry as a whole. A brilliant course for anyone wanting to start TV writing and also for authors like me who want to make the move across.
Former Writing an Original TV Drama Serial student
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.
All teaching and workshop sessions will take place on Mon or Thurs evenings from 7pm to 9pm (unless otherwise stated below). Classes will be held in the Writers' Room of the new Curtis Brown offices (Cunard House, 15 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4LR).
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, please read the current version of our Covid protocol here.
Please note that precise dates of sessions and details of course speakers are subject to change.
Week 1 – IntroductionThurs 12 Oct
Week 2 – Idea, Concept, PremiseThurs 19 Oct
Week 3 – The Character JourneyThurs 26 Oct
Week 4 – Masterclass 1: Showrunner/WriterThurs 2 Nov
Week 5 – Structuring the SerialThurs 9 Nov
Week 6 – Masterclass 2: ProducerThurs 16 Nov
Week 7 – Structuring the PilotThurs 23 Nov
Week 8 – Masterclass 3: Script EditorThurs 30 Nov
Week 9 – Beginnings and Endings – Troubleshooting your WorkThurs 7 Dec
Week 10 – Masterclass 4: Commissioner/Executive Producer with Paul GilbertThurs 14 Dec
Week 11 – Writing is Rewriting & Tech TipsThurs 11 Jan
Week 12 – Scene Writing: DialogueThurs 18 Jan
Week 13 – Masterclass 5: DirectorThurs 25 Jan
Week 14 – The First 10 PagesThurs 1 Feb
Week 15 – Pitch Practice 1Thurs 8 Feb
Week 16 – Pitch Practice 2Thurs 15 Feb
Week 17 – Conclusions, agents and pitchingMonday 19 February
Agent Q&A SessionThurs 22 Feb
Week 18 – Pitching PanelThurs 29 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 instalment plan.
The Breakthrough Scholarship for TV Screenwriters with Low Income will award one talented with limited financial means a place on our Writing an Original TV Drama Serial course. Deadline 1 Oct. Apply by clicking the button below.
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 Sun 24 Sep, and we will respond to applicants by Thurs 28 Sep.
Please upload your application via the form on this page. If you encounter any problems during the application process, or have any more questions about the course, please email email@example.com for assistance.
Our London-based TV screenwriting course, featuring masterclasses from top TV professionals and Curtis Brown agents. Scholarship available.