Line of Duty

Jed Mercurio's advice for screenwriters

Line of Duty (Credit: BBC)

Now's a great time to get into writing for TV. There have never been more opportunities for scripted programming. To stand out from the crowd, an idea should seem original and distinctive.

While the breadth of programming has increased, the traditional formats have remained dominant. Your writing should fit the standard models for a mini-series, a serial or an episodic series; 30 minutes for comedy, 60 minutes for drama.

Channel 4 commissions first drama series for female writing duo

Kate Ashfield, When The Lights Went Out, Sky,

Channel 4 has commissioned the writers Tracey Malone (Silent Witness) and Kate Ashfield (Line of Duty) for their first drama series as a duo.

The psychological thriller, under working title Born to Kill, will be made by World Productions, and looks into the mind of a teenage boy who suppresses psychopathic desires.

Jed Mercurio: the Drama Doctor

Critical

Jed Mercurio doesn't make it easy for himself. His current show, Sky 1's Critical, is a 13-part drama set in a state-of-the-art trauma centre. Every week, it focuses on a different and gruesome medical emergency while also telling the intertwined personal stories of its large cast. Oh, and it's told in real time, too.

"I always think that everything is achievable," he says, when I ask if he deliberately set the challenge of making this series as hard as possible for himself.