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:

PowerNetworking For Screenwriters

Learn directly from Heather Hale, an Independent Film and Television Director, Screenwriter and Producer! In this exclusive 90 minute Next Level Webinar, Heather will teach you how to identify your most efficient points of entry into the business and ways to step up into the big leagues, specifically where to focus your networking and marketing energies. Heather will inspire you to think more strategically and act more provocatively when it comes to your work and your career. Discover not only how to brainstorm, but how to identify and research a finely honed short hit list of agents and managers truly appropriate to the type of material you write. Find your unique voice, where you’re at in your career and where you want to be. Heather will also help you identify marquis-value actors truly appropriate for your roles and directors bankable in your genre or budget range. Learn various empowered approaches to get on their radars and get your literary assets in gear! This is an all inclusive webinar for screenwriters designed to help you stop wasting time and make the proper connections and contacts that will get your work in the right, targeted hands and improve your odds of success.

Writing Memorable and Authentic Characters

An Exclusive Stage 32 Class Creating authentic and memorable characters is the key to your next success. And Stage 32 is going to give you the tools and knowledge you need to get the most out of your characters in this in-depth 4-part on-demand class.  You’ll learn what executives are looking for in great characters as you're guided by Sarah J. Cornelius, a production and development executive at Whitewater Films. Whitewater has produced projects for Paramount Classics, The Orchard, Showtime, CNN Films, Netflix, IFC, and Samuel Goldwyn Films, and received numerous film awards, including Independent Spirit Awards, the Sundance Directing Award, a Primetime Emmy, and audience awards at SXSW and Tribeca Film Festivals. Whether you have a written screenplay or are setting out to develop your ideas, this in-depth class will show you character-building skills to enrich your story, paying particular attention to what makes a compelling protagonist. When you put in the work to create authentic characters, you create a story with greater odds of nabbing A-list actors and directors who want to tell that story and ensure that your script gets made. Each session in this course, you’ll receive comprehensive information on how you can develop strong, believable characters. You’ll cover: The foundation of a character The relationship between characters and the world Writing authentic dialogue Understanding motivation vs. wants vs. desires Knowing internal vs. external barriers How to show your character’s physicality and actions Getting clear on how character fits within an arc And so much more Across four on-demand sessions in this exclusive Stage 32 course as you immerse yourself in character creation and hone your skills. Don’t underestimate the power of believable, dynamic, and complex characters.    ***Although this class is offered on demand and homework isn't required, we strongly suggest doing the exercises and assignments throughout to get the most out of this course.   

Line Producing Strategy - How to Make Your Movie with The Highest Quality for the Lowest Price

Creating a realistic budget can make or break a film before it ever makes it into production. Where should you spend? Where can you cut? How do you stretch your dollar? In short, how can you assure you're creating the highest quality film for the lowest price?  Listen, not everyone can afford a line producer. And even if you can, you want to make sure he or she is protecting your vision and your money! Understanding this aspect of the business and how a film can be put together is everything! Let's make this complex aspect of filmmaking easier, shall we? Michael Madaville (Taken, Taken 2, Taken 3 to name a very few) is one of the most respected line producers in the business. Michael has created budgets from some of the most successful indie darlings, mid-majors and studio films in the business. And now, exclusively for Stage 32, he will take you by the hand, help you problem solve just about every issue that may arise, and help you toward financial success no matter what your budget may be.  Using examples from his decades in the business, Michael will walk you through examples of micro to major budget films and discuss how to reduce costs for crew, locations, materials and more and how to apply that information to get your schedule tight and your budget to where it needs to be.   No more chasing funds or getting caught short during filming! Michael will show you how to get on the path to a smooth shoot well before yelling "Action!"

TV Series Pitch Document Writing Lab (One on One Mentoring)

Lab Full!  If you are still interested in joining, contact By popular demand, we're bringing in TV executive Anna Henry (who has 100% satisfaction with her webinars!) to teach a one-on-one TV pitch document writing lab! Need help with writing your TV series pitch document? Look no further! Anna's here to help. "I thought it was a great course and really helped me understand the format. Anna is knowledgeable and quickly cuts through to what can help your story better. Her notes on my script were insightful and really demonstrated her thorough experience." - Lee L. "Anna’s class was by far the most thorough, well put together, and organized screenwriting class I’ve ever taken. I have an MFA in filmmaking and, after graduating, I still felt as if I didn’t fully understand the structure of pilot writing. Anna’s class laid it out step by step and she went through every piece in detail. She was also extremely available to her students. During our one-on-one sessions, I expected to have a quick 15 minute call with her but she ended up speaking extensively with me about my story from outline through script stages. She really, truly cares for her students and is there to answer any questions, which, given her abundant experience in the industry, is a priceless piece of her labs. Thank you, Anna!" - Jacqueline D. "Anna was concise, and detailed. I've been working on log-lines/treatments/synopsis for 2 years for my scripts and never had it nailed like Anna was able to do. She rocks!" - Cheryl Lynn S. This is the golden age of television and the appetite for content has never been greater. What does everyone network and streamer want? Fresh, unique, authentic voices with never-been-told stories. While the door is open to new writers, the competition is fierce. Of course you need a very strong finished script, but before that will be read, you need to be able to communicate what makes your show stand out from the crowd, what will make people want to watch it for years and years, and why you are passionate about writing it. You need a blueprint of what the series will be beyond one episode. That's where a pitch document (aka bible, aka treatment) comes in. Whether you are selling your show verbally, sending the pitch to a potential producer, or applying for a fellowship, this document carries the weight of your imagined world with all its inhabitants and stories. That's a tall order! So where do you begin? How do you organize your ideas? What should be in a pitch? How detailed should you get? Should you start with a summary of the pilot? Should you have ideas for future episodes? What should you say about your characters? In this lab we will delve deep into writing an effective pitch for your scripted television idea - one that will clearly communicate your intentions, excite the reader, and convey your voice and your passion. I have spent my career developing television projects with writers and selling those show ideas as a development executive, manager and producer. What I have found is that most screenwriters have taken classes that helped them learn about story structure, writing scenes, dialogue, etc. but writing a pitch is entirely different. Most writers need help with switching gears and selling their story in addition to telling it - which is the purpose of this lab.   Payment plans are available - contact for more details

Masters of Craft: Writing & Producing Compelling Television for Today's Market with David Weddle

It's an undeniable fact, there is no hotter market right now than television. Over the last year, over 600 shows were broadcast on TV networks, basic cable, premium cable, and the streaming platforms. And this isn't even counting limited series, docu-series and other short form content. And with new platforms like Disney+, Apple, Facebook TV and others diving into original content, there is no peak in sight or end to this gold rush on the horizon. If anything, we may just be getting started. In fact, most streaming platforms like Netflix have made a pledge to have their entire libraries consist of over 50% original content in just a few years. Think about that! So how can you take advantage of this incredible buying and producing spree, get in a writers room, work your way up to an executive producing/showrunning position and run your own show? We're glad you asked.  David Weddle has been at the television game for over 20 years. Over a prolific and well documented career, David has worked on some of the most highly acclaimed and longest running shows of all time including Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Guillermo del Toro's award winning and ground-breaking series, The Strain. David has worked side-by-side with some of the top showrunners in the business including Cartlon Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, Jack Ryan). Currently, David is a co-executive producer/showrunner and writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind. In this exclusive special event Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar, David will take you to what it takes to build a career from writer to showrunner. He will explain the entire landscape and give you a full understanding of who does what and why. He will explain how to get into a writer's room and what to do (and not to do) once you get in. He will show you how to play the political game, climb the ladder, and earn respect. He will teach you how to think and work like an EP until you become one. As if that wasn't enough, David will then take you through the world of showrunning. He will explain how writer's rooms are staffed. How seasons are laid out, how arcs are created and how episodes are broken down. He will explain budgets and scheduling, using real world examples from The Strain, Battlestar Galactica and CSI. He will talk hiring directors, getting your cast and making sure your show runs like a Swiss watch. And he will take you through the days and nights of being an EP and showrunner, so you know exactly what to expect and how to navigate the playing field. Joining David to moderate this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft webinar is our very own CEO, Richard Botto, a writer and producer himself with a television pilot in development.    The world of breaking in and staying in television doesn't need to be complicated. David will show you the tricks, tips and, most importantly, the facts you need to shorten your path to success.     "I was in a writer's room for 9 weeks and then our show got cancelled. I learned more today than I did being in that room for those 9 weeks." Anthony P.

How to Finance & Produce an Independent Film Between $250K-$2M

For many independent film producers and filmmakers, approaching financiers and securing financing for your project presents one of the biggest challenges in the entire filmmaking process. How do you build your team, bring in development funds, attach name talent and work with rebates, sales estimates & distribution to attract financing all while compiling a plan to mitigate your financial risk? This  can all be overwhelming for a producer, especially given the ever changing landscape and the increasingly competitive nature of independent film.  Your goal as a filmmaker or producer is to make your project more financially attractive to investors over everyone else presenting projects to them. What many filmmakers and producers don't know is that there's a "sweet spot" in a film budget range that will help you raise funds successfully and get the ROI your investors are looking for. Setting the budget for your feature film at between $250,000 and $2 million opens up a variety of options for you to be able to attach the talent you're looking for, the distribution you need and make your investors money. But first, you have to understand the financial blueprint to get you there.   Franco Sama has produced 25+ successful independent feature films between $250,000 - $2MM. He has worked with Oscar winner Christine Lahti, Dane Cook, Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, David Arquette, Brittany Snow, Vivica Fox, Michael Madsen and many more. He's worked with first time directors and experienced directors and has seen all scenarios when it comes to putting together financing for films. Franco knows first hand every step of the financial model needed to make a movie profitable and he's bringing this knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community.  In this webinar, you will learn how to approach your film from the investor’s point of view so you can not only get the money you need for your project but, most importantly, make a profit on your film so your investor gets their money back. You will learn how to build a team around your project that will not only make investing more attractive, but also assure you don't make mistakes when you go after funding. You'll learn the type of funding that is available to you and how to approach the investors attracted to and interested in each type of financing. You'll dissect how to get agents on your side to attach talent to your project and how to work with attorneys. You'll also learn the most effective distribution options for this type of film budget. Drawing from his nearly two decades of experience, Franco will teach you how he gets his dozens of projects financed, distributed and turning a profit, and why he stays in the “sweet spot” range between $250K-$2M.   Give yourself the competitive advantage to understand the types of investors you need to approach, how to approach them, how to get talent attached, and, ultimately, how to get your film made, distributed, and profitable so your investors return again and again!  

register for stage 32 Register / Log In