Netflix + Stage 32 Present: How to Write Drama Scripts for Streaming Television

Hosted by Leila Cohan (Emmy-nominated writer/producer)


On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Leila Cohan (Emmy-nominated writer/producer)

Webinar hosted by: Leila Cohan (Emmy-nominated writer/producer)


Leila Cohan is an Emmy-nominated television and feature writer, currently serving as Co-Executive Producer on Netflix’s THE PERFECT COUPLE. Previously, she’s written for SPECIAL (WB/Netflix), BRIDGERTON (Shondaland/Netflix), THE FIRST WIVES CLUB (Paramount/BET Plus), SANTA CLARITA DIET (Netflix), TELENOVELA (NBC), and AWKWARD (MTV). She’s developed pilots for Paramount, Hello Sunshine, The CW, YouTube Red, and the last days of ABC Family, as well as features for Lionsgate and Picture Start. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary




Netflix and Stage 32 have partnered on an exclusive global education series in an effort to democratize the worldwide entertainment industry. Together, over the course of 5 webcasts Stage 32's world class educators will bring their knowledge of what it takes to write, develop and produce today's television for the Stage 32 and Netflix creator community. These global webcasts have been seen by hundreds of thousands of creatives worldwide with a 100% satisfaction rate!

In our fifth webinar in this exclusive "Creating Television Content for a Global Marketplace" series, we are going to give you the ins and outs on how you can effectively write drama scripts for streaming television.

We are in the Great Content Gold Rush of drama television

Over 550 original shows aired in 2021 alone and that number is expected to almost double in 2022. Streamers such as Netflix have committed to spending $19 billion in original content this year.  The rush for dramatic television shows is on. Are you ready for it? 

With the success of shows such as Lupin, Squid Game and Bridgerton there is no doubt that streamers are on the hunt for dramatic global stories. These shows drop us into worlds that are new, foreign and exciting for viewers around the globe to watch, yet they all have universal themes we can relate to. The secret to this success is a solid understanding of how to write effective dramatic television...and be able to sustain it for seasons to come. 

Stage 32 and Netflix are going to teach you how. 

To help you understand the nuances of drama television is Stage 32 Educator Leila Cohan who is an Emmy-nominated television and feature writer, currently serving as Co-Executive Producer on Netflix’s THE PERFECT COUPLE. Previously, she’s written for SPECIAL (WB/Netflix), BRIDGERTON (Shondaland/Netflix), THE FIRST WIVES CLUB (Paramount/BET Plus), SANTA CLARITA DIET (Netflix), TELENOVELA (NBC), and AWKWARD (MTV). She’s developed pilots for Paramount, Hello Sunshine, The CW, YouTube Red, and the last days of ABC Family, as well as features for Lionsgate and Picture Start.

In an exciting FREE webcast Leila will go into more detail on choosing a drama series concept, core elements of your drama pilot, planning your drama series for season one and beyond, plus she'll go over an exercise to turn an idea into a pilot and a series so you can get the practice of what it's like breaking drama television. You do not want to miss this! 

To see the full webinar overview, see below. Some of the case studies Leila is going to go over in the webinar are:



Note: You will receive the Zoom link to login by the morning of the webinar.


If you are not yet a member of the Stage 32 community, we encourage you to join the community today at, it is FREE! You will instantly connect with over 800,000 creatives and professionals in the entertainment industry from all over the world who use Stage 32 to network, find work, learn and develop their projects. YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO.


What You'll Learn


What Should You Write? 

  • The Four Main Types of Drama Series
    • Realistic (Friday Night Lights)
    • Mystery (Big Little Lies)
    • Procedural (Law & Order)
    • Supernatural/Superhero (Stranger Things)
  • Subtypes
    • Family drama (Parenthood)
    • Period drama (Bridgerton)
    • Apocalyptic drama (Squid Game)
  • How to get Inspiration
    • Other work
    • Your life
    • The importance of living your life
  • Limited v. Ongoing Series
    • How to know what serves your idea the best
    • Fosse/Verdon v. Smash

About Your Pilot

  • Drama Pilots: the Basics
    • Formatting
    • Length
    • Substance
  • What Does You Pilot Need to DO?
    • Set up characters
    • Set up world
    • Introduce series engines
    • Where in this story are you picking up? Why are you starting the series NOW?
    • Network v. streaming structure
    • Examples: Scandal, Lupin, Breaking Bad
  •  Characters
    • What makes a great character? (Examples: Killing Eve, Yellowjackets)
    • What makes a great ensemble? (Examples: Mad Men, Orange Is The New Black)
    • How to create three-dimensional characters
  • World
    • What makes an exciting world? (Examples: Bridgerton, The Wire)
    • How much detail do you need?
  • Plotting
    • Pacing your episode
    • Pacing your season
    • What makes a compelling drama series?



Developing Your Pilot into a Series

  • What does your pilot set up?
  • What is owed?
  • Eating your big clams first – don’t hold out on stuff for too long

Season Arcs

  • What are you saying in this season
  • How does it affect each character?
  • How to tie character arcs together to make a cohesive whole

Series Arcs

  • How to envision future seasons before you’ve written season one
  • What’s your endgame?

Introducing new characters, stakes, and storylines

  • How to keep the audience invested
  • How to keep true to what the core of your show is, even as circumstances change



In this section, we will work together to turn an idea into a pilot and series. Leila will provide a world and a few characters. From that, together we’ll work to fill out the ensemble, come up with a story for the pilot, and arc out the season.


Q&A with Leila


Want to see the other webcasts in this exclusive Stage 32 + Netflix Creating Television Content for a Global Marketplace series?

Click here: TV Pitch Documents with Chris Mack

Click here: TV Pitch Documents with Chris Mack - Closed Caption

Click here: TV Story Structure with Anna Henry

Click here: Writing Scripts to Budget with Jeanette B. Milio

Click here: Writing Hit Sci-Fi Scripts for Streaming Television with Mickey Fisher

Click here: Writing Hit Comedy Scripts for Streaming Television with Vijal Pital

Click here: Writing Hit Drama for Streaming Television with Leila Cohan



About Your Instructor

Leila Cohan is an Emmy-nominated television and feature writer, currently serving as Co-Executive Producer on Netflix’s THE PERFECT COUPLE. Previously, she’s written for SPECIAL (WB/Netflix), BRIDGERTON (Shondaland/Netflix), THE FIRST WIVES CLUB (Paramount/BET Plus), SANTA CLARITA DIET (Netflix), TELENOVELA (NBC), and AWKWARD (MTV). She’s developed pilots for Paramount, Hello Sunshine, The CW, YouTube Red, and the last days of ABC Family, as well as features for Lionsgate and Picture Start.


Q: How do I watch my webinar live?
A: If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Go to Webinar, you will receive an email from Go to Webinar with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. You can also access your webinar link in your purchase history located under settings in the top right-hand corner of your Stage 32 profile.

If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Zoom, you will receive a separate email from Zoom with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. Your login link will not be in your Stage 32 profile. If you did not receive your link via Zoom please email

Q: How do I watch my webinar on demand?
A: You will be able to watch your webinar on demand as many times as you’d like inside your Stage 32 profile. The recording is processed and posted between 24-48 hours after the webinar concludes. You can follow the instructions below.


  1. Log into your Stage 32 profile
  2. Click "Settings" in the top right-hand corner (gear icon)
  3. Click "Purchase History"
  4. Choose this webinar and click the link to view
If You Do Not Have a Stage 32 Profile:
  1. Go to
  2. Create a profile using the SAME email address you used to sign up for this webinar. The email addresses must match in order to watch the webinar.
  3. Once you have your profile set up, you can view the webinar by clicking "Settings" in the top right hand corner (gear icon)
  4. Click "Purchase History"
  5. Choose this webinar and click the link to view

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute educational broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32. Your webinar will be taught by a working industry professional with in-depth teaching on a topic. If you are able to attend live you will be able to ask your Stage 32 Educator questions during Q&A.

Q: What are the system requirements to watch my webinar live?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.

If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.9 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer.

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you cannot attend a live webinar or purchase an on demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to re-watch?
A: Yes! Like all Stage 32 education, after the purchase of a live or on demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording.

Q: How do I get a copy of the handouts provided?
A: If the webinar you take included handouts you can find them as downloads underneath your on demand video. You must be logged into your Stage 32 profile to view the video and get the handouts by clicking settings in the top right hand corner, then clicking purchase history.

Q: What if I need accessibility and accommodations?
A: Email to request accommodations.

Thanks for your loyalty to Stage 32 Education. We value having you in the Stage 32 community.

If you have any further questions, we are always happy to help. Please contact Stage 32 support at


If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • A very good overview of types, writing strategies and business aspects.
  • Help! This webinar won't show up in my purchases or despite this page telling me that I've already purchase it...
  • 5 stars. So comprehensive, with information that is current and applicable right away. Thanks you!
  • HI, I am just wondering if you will also send the link to this webinar (Netflix + Stage 32 Present: How to Write Drama Scripts for Streaming Television (Monday, Apr 25 - 10:00 AM PDT) I am filming every day for the rest of April until 11pm so will miss the initial zoom link....thank you Tina :)

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Produce & Shoot a Successful Low Budget Horror Film

Low budget horror films have never been hotter or more in demand. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter stated that the horror genre was saving the film business and that low budget horror was helping to lead the charge. More and more companies are looking to follow the Blumhouse model of making horror films on the cheap and then raking it in at the box office and VOD. Even the streaming platforms have jumped in with both feet. But make no mistake, just because many of these production companies and filmmakers are keeping their costs down, they are not skimping on quality. Quite the opposite in fact. Horror film aficionados demand great stories, memorable characters and scares that are earned. They want fresh ideas, a unique vision, and an experience they can return to again and again. To stand out from the crowd, you need to be prepared not only to find or produce great material, but to understand how to navigate the landscape. More people produce and shoot horror than just about any other genre. And in such a crowded field, it can be hard to stand out. Go to any film market or horror trade show and you are instantly inundated with posters for dozens if not hundreds of horror features, short films, television shows and digital content looking for a home. After a while, everything seems to look the same. But there is a way to break out of that crowded field and assure that your work gets seen, bought, distributed and/or screened. And we have just the guy to show you how to get it done. Nick Phillips knows horror. In his 20 years in the business, Nick has worked, developed and produced films for Miramax and Sony Screen Gems. In 2012, Nick co-founded his own production company specializing in genre films, the Revolver Picture Company. Just some of the films Nick has worked on include Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, the Crow, Vacancy, Feast and The Roommate. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Nick will share his knowledge on how to create terrifying films at not-so-terrifying costs. Films the industry wants to have a piece of and horror fans won't be able to get enough of. Nick will start by teaching you one of the most common failings of producers and filmmakers within the horror space, namely what you should look for in a horror script. From there, he will talk development and the production process during this all important period of the project's evolution. Nick will show you how to stretch your budget dollar, by minimizing locations (but maximizing how you use them), making the right hires, keeping the shoot moving and staying on schedule. He will teach you his tricks on working with actors during the most intense scenes and keeping them motivated. Speaking of actors, he will discuss whether name talent matters or whether choosing the best actor for the part is a better approach.  He will show you how to get the best production value throughout the film. And everyone knows, a great horror movie demands a sequel! Nick will show you how to set yourself up so that your project is franchise ready.   This is a fully comprehensive overview of how to immerse yourself in the horror genre as a producer and/or filmmaker.   "I have no desire to work in any other genre outside of horror. I've been frustrated that my vision always seems to be too expensive for the money I have available. Thank you, Nick, for showing me the path to seeing my vision through while keeping my costs down. I'm inspired again!" Matt H.   "There is nothing scary about this webinar. It's fantastic." Devon M.   "Man, was this eye opening. I have seen the light and now know how to keep my costs in check. Let the blood flow!" - Francisco D.   "My all female slasher grindhouse project is back on my production slate thanks to you, Nick. I don't know how that makes you feel, but I feel fantastic!" - Marissa G.

How to Write a Fresh, Stand Out Comedy

Learn directly from Melissa Daykin Cassill, Vice President of State Street Pictures (Faster, Beauty Shop, Barbershop, Notorious, Nothing Like The Holidays) The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Little Miss Sunshine. What is it, exactly, that makes these comedies stand out from the crowd? With so many different types of comedies in the marketplace, it is becoming the toughest genre to break into. More executives are turning to A list comedians to write than actual screenwriters, so how do you get an executive's attention? How do you get past executives that have different senses of humor, jokes that don't translate internationally, and storylines that can easily get deemed outdated a year later? Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our 4 week online intensive class How To Write A Fresh, Stand Out Comedy taught by the Vice President of State Street Pictures, Melissa Dayin Cassill. In this hands on 4 week course, you will learn the importance of the emotional crescendo of a comedy script, how to balance the comedy with the humanity of the characters, and how to pitch your comedy script once you're ready, all while molding your pages under Melissa's supervision. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a fresh stand out comedy script that will grab executives' attention! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Melissa is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.

Master Screenwriting Basics Certification

"Great screenwriting is never heard, never read, it's felt." - AZ Yeamen   Get Your Master Screenwriting Basics Certification Exclusively Through Stage 32 Keeping you on the cutting-edge of the entertainment industry, because we are the global online resource for creative professionals. Spots Filled, if you would like to join in 2022 please contact!   Ready to master your craft? Learn elite screenwriting fundamentals, in-depth story analysis strategies, writing techniques and more. Stage 32’s online Master Screenwriting Basics Certification was designed for creative professionals looking to expand their knowledge to expert level by studying screenwriting course materials and taking our certification online. When earning a Master Screenwriting Basics Certification and becoming a certified screenwriter, choosing the right training is essential. You've found the right place.   A Master Screenwriting Basics Certification from Stage 32 can help you expand your screenwriting career. In 16 weeks over this 14-session course with 2 creative weeks for your own writing, you will be using a proven technique designed for emerging writers to rise above the pack. This certification contains functional skills to develop your craft with pacing, authentic storytelling, building your writing muscle, and basics of screenwriting. You will learn not only the techniques to step ahead of the pack with your writing, but you will also be working on perfecting your own writing technique. Stage 32 is the worldwide leader in entertainment industry education and is a marketplace that connects creators with content producers. After you finish your certification you will earn an exclusive Stage 32 Certificate and Stage 32 will provide you resources to help take your new skills into the professional marketplace, including a career development meeting with an industry professional.   Get certified from a leading industry expert. AZ Yeaman has sold nearly every script she's ever written. She has become the go-to for revisions, doctoring, whipping stories into shape, and pitch packages for Netflix, TVOne, Aspire TV, UMC Streaming, Bounce TV, and independent production companies. Most recently, she served as a Story Editor on Covenant on AMC's ALLBLK. AZ is passionate and focused, with a granite-hard work ethic. She focuses not only on pursuing and developing her career in script/story development but also on fostering exciting, new talent. Every day is an opportunity to do more, learn more. She's an admitted lifelong student, an absorber of sights, sounds, and sensations that make her a natural-born writer. AZ brings heart, energy, and clarity of vision to story development and screenwriting projects. Her students have created concepts in class, outlined, drafted, written, rewritten, and sold projects to networks.   Ready to take the next step? Our master screenwriting certification was designed by entertainment industry professionals for entertainment industry professionals to help you succeed. For less than $100 a week you will become a certified screenwriter and be given the tools you need to enter the professional market exlusively through Stage 32.    PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 certification course is limited to 10 people and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good.

Write Now Webcast - Visual Storytelling

This month you were challenged to write a scene in 3-5 pages that tells a story with no dialogue. The idea is to use character intention, action, obstacles and the scene setting to tell a story.

Jason Mirch - Producer

Jason got his start with Evolution Entertainment, moved into Studio Development, and now independently producers and writes. We discuss what makes a project marketable, how to push your career forward industry trends, & more, plus a live Q&A!

Plan Your Film Festival Strategy in the "New Normal" - Virtual Film Festivals and Beyond

The backbone of the entertainment industry was shaken to the core after the trades announced one of the major festivals - SXSW was going to cancel its in-person festival. Shortly after festival after festival had to adapt to a new way of doing things - should they present their festival live and take a chance of it being cancelled? Or, should they present their festival virtually bringing on a new slew of challenges? Navigating this "new normal" has rocked the industry and has left many filmmakers scratching their heads about what it all means. Should you release your film in this new format? Or should you hold onto it and wait it out, with the fear of another year going by without it seeing the light of day? Despite the ongoing shift to a virtual, watch-from-home and hybrid model, film festivals continue to serve as an important platform for your film to make its debut. Your film can continue to find attention, distribution and other successes from participating, yet there are new questions and considerations you should factor into evaluating which festivals to submit to. The current spirit of cooperation and collaboration between festivals during the pandemic has radically changed, creating lots of new and exciting ways you can benefit from the circuit. But, with the excitement, there is also a lot of confusion about premiere status, virtual screenings vs online screenings, and more. Outside of getting your film into a festival, there are things you can learn from what the successful festival films are seeing that you can apply to your own film and its release. Whether you are a feature filmmaker or a short filmmaker you need to understand and embrace the new practices emerging among festivals presenting virtual and hybrid events. It’s time you take stock of the situation. Kimberley Browning is an independent filmmaker, the Associate Short Film Programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival and the founder of the long-running short film screening series Hollywood Shorts. Kimberley is also the Executive Producer of HBO ACCESS Directors Fellowship, the network's program developing and launching underrepresented voices into episodic television. Formerly a short film programmer for both the Los Angeles Film Festival and Guadalajara International Film Festival Los Angeles, Kimberley has a long history of working with film festivals and continues to serve as a festival consultant for many independent filmmakers. Kimberley has built her storied career around elevating new voices and empowering them to get their projects out into the world. Kimberley will delve into how filmmakers are finding success with their new films during the pandemic and how you can use film festivals as well as other practices to successfully release your own short or feature film. She’ll begin by explaining how you should be setting your gals and building your strategies to get your film out there. She’ll talk about new practices to build an audience, strategy essentials—with or without COVID—and how you should now be defining success and whether it needs to evolve due to the pandemic. Next Kimberley will focus on film festivals and show you what the new festival landscape and vocabulary looks like. She’ll explain what the best digital platforms festivals are utilizing and which to avoid. She’ll also teach you what ‘geocaching’ is and how to determine your geofencing options. She will go over DRM protections and how to keep your film safe when screening virtually and will talk about the difference between virtual screenings and online screenings. Next Kimberley will delve into the new film festival calendar, how the overall festival circuit is shifting due to date changes and postponements. She’ll give you the rundown of how to read small print before submitting to festivals to make sure you know what you need to know ahead of time. She’ll walk through how you should revamp your festival strategy to better navigate COVID and how you should now be communicating with a festival team. Kimberley will also talk about how to now navigate premiere status with festivals and explain how virtual festivals impact your film’s status and its ability to get distributor attention. She’ll also talk about how media and distributors are now navigating new rules in 2020 to find work with films. Next she will teach you how to navigate a virtual festival if your film is accepted, including how to promote your film to a virtual audience and how to build relationships and make connections without in-person events. Beyond festivals, Kimberley will give you strategies to promote and market your film to a general audience for its virtual release including if and how to work with publicists and new social media strategies to start employing. Kimberley will talk about other release strategies for your film beyond film festivals. She’ll give you tips on how to host your own independent online premiere. She’ll also give you a rundown of how to find distributors in a distanced world and how to operate long-standing marketplaces like AFM that are now turning virtual. Finally Kimberley will go over ways to self-distribute your film during quarantine, including if and how to work with aggregators to maximize your release. This is a tough time to release your film—rules and practices have changed across the board—but it’s still possible to find success and Kimberley will show you how to achieve this with your own film.   Praise for Kimberley's Stage 32 Webinar   "Kimberley was very engaging which isn't easy when there is no audience interaction. Her presentation hit the middle ground between newbies and more seasoned festival goers which was very helpful because we are all newbies in this virtual festival world...both presenters and filmmakers alike." -Laurie C.   "Good perspective, useful advice." -Mick H.   "It was great!" -Daniel G.   "I loved how knowledgeable Kimberley was. She gave me so many ideas of how to move forward with my film" -Karen B.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In