Half Hour Drama Development Initiative, funding, images

Half Hour Drama Development Initiative

ABC TV and Create NSW are looking to develop half-hour character-driven dramas with heart and humour; bold, purposeful ideas that are a reflection of or commentary on the world we live in. These should be projects that can ignite and provoke a conversation that cuts through the noise of social media and real life.

Projects will be returnable and suitable for prime time viewing on ABC TV. Diversity, both on- and off-screen, is a priority, as is a focus on younger audiences (under 50). Projects should be six-eight half hour episode TV series to be considered for jointly funded development by Create NSW and the ABC.

We’re targeting ideas that are strong and unique enough to compete against the likes of some of the most successful international series of recent years including: Girls, Catastrophe, Search Party, Atlanta, Enlightened, Insecure, High Maintenance, Looking, Fleabag, You’re The Worst.

Stage 1

Create NSW and ABC TV Drama are initially seeking one-two-page pitch documents for six-eight half hour episode TV series to be considered for jointly funded development.

ABC TV and Create NSW will shortlist up to 10 projects to participate in a masterclass in half-hour drama, featuring presentations and panels by key creators and show runners of successful TV programs both locally and internationally.

The event will be in Sydney and is scheduled for early 2018, and all invited participants must be available to attend and be able to self-fund their travel.

ABC will have a 60 day exclusive option to engage the Participant to develop and/or produce a program based on the Participant’s developed drama concepts and workshop materials.

Stage 2

After the masterclass event, we will ask creative teams to submit a more refined outline document of 2-5 pages. Then Create NSW and ABC TV will select up to four projects for further development. Further development materials to be produced include a series bible and treatment document.

ABC will have a 12-month exclusive option to commission the projects for further development or production.

Potential applicants are advised to read the below eligibility guidelines and then apply here.

An individual can submit or be attached to multiple applications; however we’d advise you to put your most competitive projects forward.

The closing date for submissions for stage 1 is Sunday 28 January 2018.

Who is eligible?

Applicants will generally be a NSW based key creative, individual or company or have at least one NSW based key creative (writer, producer or director) attached. Teams would generally need to include a key creative with credits in drama or comedy. Teams are required to include at least one female key creative.

You must hold the rights in your project.

An individual can submit or be attached to multiple applications; however we’d advise you to put your most competitive projects forward.

Create NSW general eligibility requirements can be found in the Create NSW Terms of Trade, which should be read in conjunction with these guidelines.

Create NSW is committed to supporting increased participation in the industry of people from underrepresented groups including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from CaLD backgrounds, people with disability, LGBTQI people, people from western Sydney and people from regional NSW. Priority will be given to teams including people from under-represented groups.

When can I apply?

Applications will open Tuesday 12 December 2017 and close 11.55pm Sunday 28 January 2018.

What do I need to submit?

Applicants must complete the online application form as well as submitting a one-two page pitch document for a six-eight episode half hour drama TV series.

What is the assessment process?

Create NSW and ABC TV Drama will jointly review and assess the applications against the following criteria:

  • The strength and distinctiveness of the concept;
  • The strength of the story and the quality of the submitted materials;
  • The potential of the project to reach its target audience;
  • The track record of the Key Creative(s) and/or associated companies;
  • The potential of the project to contribute to a robust screen industry in NSW;
  • The potential of the project to be realised from Initial Development through to production, and then final distribution and exhibition.
Who should I talk to about my application?

If you have any queries about your application, please contact Miranda Ryan, Sector Investment Officer, Screen at or 02 8289 6420.

For further information contact:
Development & Production