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Producers get writer's block

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15 December 2016

Drama report: The drama boom has had many side effects, and right now one of the most challenging, say producers, is that there’s a shortage of experienced TV writers.

With fewer procedural, story of the week shows on air, there are fewer opportunities for writers to cut their teeth in writers’ rooms.

But broadcasters are nervous about taking a risk on newcomers for primetime dramas. “Because budgets are bigger, a lot of the time we are unable to give a break to a brand new writer,” admits Red Production’s Nicola Shindler.

It means there’s now a small group of highly in-demand, experienced writers who broadcasters want to commission to write their new shows. “Utlimately, there is only a very small pool of writers,” says Bandit Television md Phillippa Giles.

This group includes Paul Abbott (No Offence), Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster), Pete Bowker (Marvellous), Danny Brocklehurst (Ordinary Lies), Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch), Andrew Davies (War and Peace), Russell T Davies (Cucumber), Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), Bill Gallagher (Paranoid), Tony Jordan (Dickensian), Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty), Kay Mellor (In the Club), Abi Morgan (River), Peter Morgan (The Crown), Peter Moffat (The Night Of), Steven Moffat (Sherlock), Ashley Pharoah (The Living and the Dead), Jack Thorne (National Treasure), Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley) and Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing).


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Bruce Mc
Bruce Mc  | December 17, 2016
What nonsense. There really isn\'t a lack of TV writers. There are lots of writers writing popular television drama in the UK. Writers with long lists of credits. However, the producers are blind to them and unwilling to take the risk. Fortunately for those writers, the market is changing and international producers want what they have to offer.
 
Lisa Holdsworth
Lisa Holdsworth  | December 16, 2016
Only three female writers and no Black or Asian writers on that list. Remind me again how we\'re going to improve diversity in television.
 
Jillipen
Jillipen  | December 16, 2016
The \'Ted Darling\' crime books by L M Krier should be televised, because crime dramas have become very \'samey\' and these books offer something different, a more modern updated copper is what we need on TV
 
Jill James
Jill James  | December 15, 2016
Once again there is a lack of TV writers what a shame TAPS is not around. For 18 years we found trained and nurtured writers and I feel proud every time I see their names come on screen.





















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