Red Planet Pictures has launched a Writers’ Room initiative to bring on a new generation of showrunners.
The indie behind shows such as The Death in Paradise has invited four screenwriters to join the programme, where they will be paired with an established showrunner to develop an original idea from seed to production.
In the first programme, the writers will develop a new eight-part series. The contemporary crime thriller, set in London, will be developed from start to finish by the Writers’ Room, led by Red Planet CEO Tony Jordan.
Under Jordan’s leadership, the writers will create not only an initial script but also storyline the entire series and develop a show bible. Uniquely, post commission, all four writers will then work across all aspects of production, from casting to edit, gaining show running experience.
The writers selected for the inaugural Red Planet Writers’ Room are Maya Sondhi (Mount Pleasant, EastEnders, The Kumars), Laura Poliakoff (Holby City, EastEnders, Casualty), Johnny O’Neill (The Accident, Community Service, EastEnders) and Nathaniel Price (The Job, Baller, The Break II).
Red Planet Pictures CEO Tony Jordan said: "We’re thrilled to announce this new initiative, building on the work we’ve done with new writers for more than ten years. Developing the Red Planet Writers’ Room programme, we are building a creative model that will not only give new writers a chance to learn what goes into being a showrunner but will also generate successful new series ideas for years to come."
The drama company also runs The Red Planet Prize. Last year’s winner, Tom Nash, is currently working with Red Planet to develop his winning script Percentages and previous finalist Robert Thorogood created the BBC One hit series Death in Paradise. Now starring Ardal O’Hanlon and produced by Red Planet Pictures, the series returns to BBC One for a seventh season next year.
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