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with john yorke

4th – 8th November 2024 

The effective television development of a series requires a creative storytelling skillset, strategic positioning, and personality management. John Yorke has been behind some of the biggest hits in television and has distilled that knowledge into Developing a Series

This course explores the core skills that go into creating and selling a TV series for either the local or international market. Focusing on exploring the role of the method of consumption in dictating story structure, how to develop a story, how to approach character arcs and characterisation, and take a deep dive into the key characteristics constituting all successful formats.

We will look at the elements that go into creating a story bible, how to create them, and how to present them to broadcasters. Budget and logistics will be explored and how best to match concept with network expectations, and we will do all of that by getting you to create your own show


Creative Architecture – What to look for in a project?
– Story structure
– Format
– Longevity

Managing the Process
– Working with talent: notes, deadlines, personality management

Business Questions Underpinning Development
– Key business questions when considering a project
– Development slate management & strategy

Pitching & materials
– Key details you need to communicate in a pitch
– Preparation and materials needed to pitch a broadcaster / SVoD
– Group practical pitch exercise. Consider a specific format and buyer in mind

Please be prepared to workshop an idea which you, or other participants, may bring to the table or which may be initiated during the sessions as part of the course work.
This will be subject to usual industry practice IP and copyright provisions and the T&Cs applying to the course.

Who is this for?
Writers, Script Editors, Story Editors, Development Executives, Creative Producers, Executive Producers, Commissioners

Dates / Times:
Monday 4th March – Friday 8th March, 2024
Running LIVE daily
11:00am – 12:30pm (GMT – UK Time) & 3:30pm – 5:00pm (GMT – UK Time)

Standard Fee:
£650 pp plus VAT if applicable 

Zoom Webinar

Please review our Terms and Conditions, which includes advice about our Data Protection and Privacy Policy.

For more details contact: [email protected]

All Online Programmes will be conducted in English


John is a drama producer, author and teacher who has spent 30 years studying our insatiable appetite for stories. His long career in TV drama has given him the tools to identify the underlying shape common to all successful narratives – from drama to political speeches

He is the author of the UK’s bestselling book on narrative structure – Into The Woods – How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them.

As former Head of Channel Four Drama, Controller of BBC Drama Production and MD of Company Pictures, John has shaped stories that have attracted some of the biggest audiences for drama in UK TV history

He has overseen some of the UK’s most enduring and popular programmes, from Shameless and Life On Mars to East Enders and Holby City, alongside award-winners like Bodies and the internationally acclaimed Wolf Hall. John has worked with a vast array of talent, from Paul Greengrass and Paul Abbott to Debbie Horsfield and Jimmy McGovern, making him uniquely placed to watch, learn and analyse the work of the finest writers in television

The programme is supported by Screen Ireland through the Screen Stakeholders Funding Scheme

“This is a marvellous analysis of screenwriting and, with any luck, should help a great many people achieve their dreams

Julian Fellowes


“Probably the most accessible, inspiring take on story that I’ve attended.  We came home with a clearer and deeper understanding of our work, and with a common set of vocabulary, which is key to good teamwork.”



Companies that have participated:
In light of continually expanding opportunities provided by the international markets, please contact us to review your corporate interests and projects for coproduction to build business and creative strategies to expand your international presence