Video: How to structure your 30 minute TV comedy script

Alma's Not Normal. Image shows from L to R: Jim (Nicholas Asbury), Alma Nuthall (Sophie Willan), Lin (Siobhan Finneran), Joan (Lorraine Ashbourne)

If you're writing 30 minutes sitcom or comedy drama scripts, you'll want to get the structure right. But there is definitely a lack of really clear advice out there about structuring your episode. Here's an hour-long video in which Chris Head uses clips and script excerpts to look at the three act structure often seen in TV comedy.

Chris says: "As a writing coach and mentor, I read a lot of thirty-minute TV comedy scripts. One thing that is often lacking is structure. Now, you can of course have a script that is perfectly structured but still falls short in terms of characterisation, story, situation... funniness. However, you can also have a script that has huge potential in all these areas but is let down by poor structure.

"Luckily, it's quite simple to get your head round the structure of a thirty minute script, and once you get into it you find it really helps with the storytelling. Indeed it can also help with making sure your episode is funny and character driven. In this seminar I take you through the three act structure of your script, following the tuning point, midpoint, crunch point (or 'worst point') structure and how to manage multiple storylines."

As you'll see in the video, Chris looks at the very first episodes of Alma's Not Normal, Catastrophe and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Here are links to the scripts, in PDF format:

Alma's Not Normal


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This video is an ideal introduction to and preparation for the course Chris runs: Write Your TV Comedy Script

See also: Turning Point / Midpoint / Crunch Point article

Published: Sunday 17th September 2023
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