Oct 14 - Dec 6
TV Writing: Core Elements
Registration is now closed for this session.
Alana Sanko

Applications are now closed. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, September 24 at 2pm PT.

Create an outline for your TV pilot idea in eight weeks with accomplished TV writers as your guides. In this live introductory level online course, you will take this important first step for your original pilot script and learn a set of tools to help you ask the important questions of every scene and character that will get you past "stuck" when writing future episodes.

In lecture sessions, you will analyze clips from half-hour and full-hour sitcoms and dramas, complete interactive exercises, and discuss concepts with others in your course. Weekly homework is reviewed by your course advisor and designed to move your pilot idea through to a completed outline. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor focused on your project.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Find your most effective creative writing process.
  • Develop and hone your characters.
  • Learn how character drives plot.
  • Be able to identify three-act structure and have it be the backbone of your pilot.
  • Identify A/B/C stories and break story in your own pilot.
  • Create the tableau and tone for your pilot.
  • Write your beat sheet.
  • Develop your beat sheet into an outline.
  • Understand how to receive notes and approach a rewrite.
  • Identify a longer story arc for your series.

This course is ideal for:

  • Television writers with a great idea for a series or pilot who could use help with structure, world building, character development, and deadlines.
  • Writers who have a first draft of a pilot or series outline, but want the guidance of an experienced mentor to go back and dive deeper into their work.

Course enrollment is capped at 50 participants per session, with a student to advisor ratio of no more than 12 to one. To apply, you must be able to articulate the logline for your pilot script.


The course will be held live in our virtual classroom. All sessions are recorded for registered participants who are unable to attend live.

  • DURATION: Eight weeks, October 14 - December 6
  • SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 9am - 11am PT
    • Extended first class session: Wednesday, October 14 9am - 12:00pm PT
    • Extended last class session: Wednesday, November 25, 9am - 12:00pm PT
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Nov 30 - Dec 6
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, September 24 at 2pm PT
Alana Sanko is an award-winning television writer and producer who has written and developed for comedy, drama and animated series, as well as TV movies and network and cable pilots. She started her career as an entertainment publicist and went on to work in television production, during which time she was accepted into the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop, which landed her a staff position on the critically acclaimed hit CBS television series, MURPHY BROWN. more...
Rebecca Stay is a seasoned television executive, who has supervised numerous hit shows from concept to broadcast, including “Nip/Tuck” for FX and “Veronica Mars” for UPN. With more than twenty years of extensive development experience under her belt, Rebecca has had the privilege of working with some of the most exciting and inspiring creative teams in the industry and headed up several TV Production companies, including Ventanarosa (Salma Hayek), Is or Isn’t Ent. (Lisa Kudrow & Dan Bucatinsky) and Shephard/Robin (Greer Shephard & Mike Robin). more...
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Aadip Desai is an Indian American television writer, comedian, and Air Force brat. He was most recently a Staff Writer on ABC’s THE GOLDBERGS, which is a show mostly about yelling. He also runs the daunting 15,000-member LA TV Writers Facebook Group. Aadip took an early departure from the MFA screenwriting program at AFI after being accepted into the ABC/Disney TV Writing Program. more...

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