Channel 4 Drama’s aim is to commission and broadcast the most talked-about and original drama in the UK. We commission new work from both established and up-and-coming drama writers, in order to be a surprising, thought-provoking, entertaining alternative to the drama output on other channels.
That includes Russell T Davies’ landmark drama about the HIV epidemic It's A Sin, Daisy Coulam’s feminist take on extreme violence in crime thriller Deadwater Fell, Shane Meadows’ masterpiece of repressed memory in The Virtues, Charlie Covell’s darkly comic series The End Of The Fucking World, or Lucy Kirkwood’s controversial drama about the UK porn industry, Adult Material. We are also the home of Yorkshire-based returning series Ackley Bridge, which revolutionised the school drama genre, as well as award-winning, progressive soap Hollyoaks, which this year reached its 25th anniversary. Through drama, we are always encouraging audiences to look at the world in a new and different way.
Our main focus is on contemporary dramas which will resonate with a British audience. We will consider period drama, as long as the idea has a resonance in the present day, or feels like it is seen through an entirely fresh lens. The second half of the 20th century feels like the most likely period for us to land.
Priorities for new developments:
- 4 x 60’ limited series at 9pm, which can shine a light on who we are today. Series which have a strong and distinctive POV, like It's A Sin, The Virtues, The Accident, Adult Material and Deadwater Fell.
- 6 x 60’ returning series at 9pm. C4 returning series are often genres which audiences understand and love, but with a completely fresh tone and approach – think Humans and No Offence.
- 8 x 30’ younger skewing series at 10pm, which drive all important young viewers to All4. The End of the Fucking World series 2 was our most binged All4 boxset ever.
What we aren’t currently looking for:
- Dystopias or anthologies
- Stories about Islamic terror or urban knife crime
- Period drama which predates the 2nd half of the 20th century.
- New ideas for E4 as, with limited space for drama on the channel, we are focusing on the projects we already have in development.
Single drama is not currently a priority, however we will make exceptions for pieces which feel as urgent and revelatory as Brexit: The Uncivil War.
Due to the high volume of material we are receiving, we are revising our submissions process. Whenever sending scripts or treatments to the team, please also submit a brief overview of the project, along with the format and the slot it is intended for. We would ask that you only submit ideas which feel like they are relevant to the commissioning priorities as laid out above.
When sending in submissions to anyone in the department, please ensure you always cc Lucy Haig and Lauren Blumfield. While we are always happy to read ideas from new writers, please be aware that all submissions MUST be submitted via a production company. Channel 4 cannot accept unsolicited material from members of the public. Please allow at least 28 business days for us to come back to you with a response, and be aware the response time may be a fair bit longer.