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How to Write for Television


Television is smoking hot these days, with some of the most creative and popular storytelling in its history. How do great TV writers like Vince Gilligan BREAKING BAD and Matthew Weiner of MAD MEN create such great shows?


Come find out, as UCLA’s Teacher of the Year, Peter Russell, founder of, breaks down the secret patterns and devices of these shows, as well as Aaron Sorkin’s NEWSROOM, network shows like THE GOOD WIFE, and explores the rise of the television anti-hero in shows like ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, GAME OF THRONES, and others.


You’ll learn all the tricks of creating great suspense in shows like HOMELAND, and tools to write a powerful TV pilot, including the specific plot structures, characters, and story devices used by these great artists and more!


Who should attend:

  • Writers
  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Actors
  • Editors

By the end of this class you’ll know how to:

  • Know the different television forms and how to write them.
  • Understand how to create characters that can go for seasons and seasons.
  • Amp up the emotion, drama, and excitement using secret story tools.
Requirements: something to take notes

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Peter Russell’s lectures are famous for their vivid incisive and original insights. UCLA’s Teacher of the Year in 2009, Peter also runs a film school in Venice with his far smarter partner, Ceciia Russell, called HowMoviesWork.




“There are only a very few times in one’s life when a ‘light bulb’ comes on — and a complete grasp of a subject is obtained.  Peter Russell has the extraordinary knack for conveying the principles and elements behind Hollywood hit movies in a way that makes obvious, deep sense – and which gives you the perfect tools to deeply grasp what makes a story good or bad for a film or TV project.  I feel extremely well versed and confident in my ability to both create and also critique and give notes to screenwriters after taking Peter’s class.  I strongly recommend that anyone serious about making a mark in the film industry study his absolutely brilliant approach.”


Carron Allen, Creative Executive, CAA


“I thought I knew story until I took Peter’s class.  The simplicity with which he teaches allows for so much to be retained . It was the most valuable course I have ever taken – I mean that sincerely – and the knowledge he gave me I will carry with me throughout the rest of my career . Peter is my hero!


Gregg Moscot, Creative Executive, Eclectic Pictures


“Peter Russell’s approach to teaching Hollywood story structure crystalizes the fundamental script elements that can make a movie   great.  With a firm grasp of these elements in hand I am confident in my ability to identify, analyze and develop great scripts.  He is a passionate, eloquent, entertaining teacher who makes every moment of class not only deeply informative – but great, great fun.”


Adrian Roup, Writer/ Director of Photography 

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