The European Showrunner Training is an intensive 6-month advanced training and mentoring programme designed to provide experienced European series writers with the opportunity to acquire and refine the skills needed for taking on the demanding role of a showrunner.

Through online and residential seminars as well as one-on-one mentoring, the programme supports each participant in cultivating the mind-set and self-awareness necessary for becoming a successful showrunner in Europe.

Topics include:

  • Creative Leadership
  • Head Writing, Producing, Directing, Editing
  • Social Impact – On and Off Screen
I would definitely recommend the European Showrunner Programme to any professional looking to take their career to new levels in terms of vision and creative ownership.

Malina Nwabuonwor, Austria

»Sam – A Saxon«, »Para – We are King« (Season 2)

Malina Nwabuonwor
© Eric Asamoah
The European Showrunner Programme has given me more tools to deal with all the challenges. The trainers are key names in the industry who generously share their knowledge and experience.

Pedro Lopes, Portugal

»Glória«, »O Códex 632«

Pedro Lopes
© Bruno Cotovio
The European Showrunner Programme has been truly transformational. The producing knowledge I've gained has already enabled me to communicate more effectively and bear more influence over my projects - which I believe will have a positive impact on the quality of what we produce. My Showrunner mentors have given me not just moral support and advice, but significant practical help. Added to that, the network of participants is invaluable. It’s a fantastic programme, and I hope participants will be benefitting from it as I have for several years to come.

Rachel Paterson, UK

»Domina«, »Fallen«

Rachel Paterson
© private
This programme was a great way to both connect with other showrunners and to improve our craft and support each other. From the mentorship sessions to the case studies, it was great to get so many tips and war stories.

Tunde Aladese, Nigeria / Germany

»MTV Shuga«, »Transatlantic«

Tunde Aladese
© Taiye Selasi


The European Showrunner Programme (ESP) is designed for brilliant series writers with a strong creative vision, who know their craft and enjoy creative collaboration as well as leading teams.

Building on this foundation, the ESP aims to provide the participants with key insights and skills related to the production and creative leadership aspects of the showrunner’s position, such as

  • understanding budgets
  • understanding schedules
  • understanding business partners and all members of the creative team
  • understanding how to hire the right people

  • understanding how to position creative partners for success

  • understanding the social impact of storytellers and team leaders

The following subject areas and topics are covered:

Creative Leadership

The European Showrunner Programme centres on Creative Leadership. Leadership models and skills relevant for the role of the showrunner as well as individual showrunners' leadership styles build the core of the ESP. These topics are addressed continuously throughout the program, both in class and in one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Hard Skills

Participants learn how to structure and intertwine the dense writing and production processes required when creating and producing drama series today. They deepen their knowledge of areas such as producing, directing, and editing and explore various aspects of visual style.

Social Impact

The powerful role stories play in society, reaching and affecting the minds, viewpoints, and beliefs of local and global audiences alike, is a well-studied phenomenon. By featuring characters that audiences grow closely attached to – sometimes for a lifetime – series constitute a form of storytelling that has a particularly strong influence. A showrunner must take this into account as well as the fact that the work culture they foster, the diversity of their cast and crew, and the wasteful or sustainable way in which the show is produced also reflects this responsibility.

Analysis, Discussion, and Definition

At the end of each module, there is a reflection on the topics and challenges addressed and a discussion on how to implement these findings into a future model of showrunning in Europe


Another important feature of the programme is one-on-one meetings with personal mentors. In four online meetings of 60-90 minutes each, mentors support each participant individually in exploring what kind of showrunner they aim to be.

  1. The ESP is no training in screenwriting. Applicants need to bring extensive screenwriting experience.
  2. The ESP is no training in writers‘ room techniques. This knowledge, too, is a prerequisite for all applicants.
  3. The ESP is no training for non-writing professionals. While future editions might include applicants with different backgrounds, the first edition is writer-centred.
  4. The ESP is no project incubator. The focus of this training is on skills and insights. There will be no series projects developed in the course. However, since this is a part-time course, all aspects learned may be immediately applied to the projects the participants are currently working on.



The ESP is designed as a blended learning programme featuring both on-site and online sessions. The European Showrunner Training consists of lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, case studies, masterclasses, and mentoring in the form of one-on-one online consultations.

Module 1: The Showrunner as Creator
Module 2: The Showrunner as Head Writer
Module 3: The Producer’s Mind-set
Module 4: The Director’s Mind-set


2-4 June 2024: On-site workshop I (3 days)
14-15 June 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
19 June 2024: Online evening session (2h)
28-29 June 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
12-13 July 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
24 July 2024: Online evening session (2h)
26-27 July 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
27-29 August 2024: On-site workshop II (3 days)
13-14 September 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
18 September 2024: Online evening session (2h)
27-28 September 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
2 October: Online evening session (2h)
11-12 October 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
25-26 October 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
8-9 November 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)
22-23 November 2024: On-site workshop III (2 days)
29-30 November 2024 or 2-3 December 2024: Online weekend sessions (Fri afternoon & Sat morning)

subject to change


Participations Fees & Scholarships


The European Showrunner Training has a participation fee of

  • 2,500 Euros, excluding accommodation, including meals for on-site workshops
  • 3,500 Euros, including accommodation and meals for on-site workshops (8 days in total)

The actual cost of the European Showrunner Training is significantly higher, but thanks to the support of the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union, this in-depth training can be offered for this reasonable fee.


Partial and full scholarships are available in priority (but not exclusively) to candidates from the following countries: Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Cyprus, Malta, as well as [subject to the conditions being fulfilled for their participation in the MEDIA strand] Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine.)

For obtaining a scholarship, applicants are asked to indicate the request in the application form as well as to substantiate their request briefly in their statement of motivation for attending the European Showrunner Training.

Speakers & Mentors

Speakers and Mentors 2023 included (amongst many others)

Lisa Ambjörn

Lisa Ambjörn

European Showrunner Programme

Writer | »Young Royals«, »Sick (Sjukt)«
Uta Briesewitz European Showrunner Training

Uta Briesewitz

Cinematographer, Director (»The Wire«, »Stranger Things«, »Westworld«), USA / Germany
Jantje Friese, European Showrunner Programme, ifs
© private

Jantje Friese

Showrunner, Executive Producer, Headwriter (»1899«, »DARK«). Germany
Francesca Gardiner, European Showrunner Programme, ifs
© private

Francesca Gardiner

Writer, Executive Producer (»Succession«, »Killing Eve«), USA/UK
Clementine Gayet European Showrunner Programme

Clementine Gayet

Creative Executive – French Original Series at Netflix, France
Foto Jeppe Gjervig Gram

Jeppe Gjervig Gram

Writer and Showrunner (»Borgen«, »Follow the Money«), Denmark
Head of Programme European Showrunner Programme
Matt Hastings, European Showrunner Programme, ifs
© private

Matthew Hastings

Showrunner, Executive Producer, Director (»Fallen«, »The Handmaid’s Tale«), USA / UK
Gabór Krigler European Showrunner Programm filmschule köln

Gabór Krigler

Writer, Producer and Showrunner (»Aranyélet/Easy Living«, »In Treatment«), Hungary
Foto Jeff Melvoin
© Martha Hartnett Melvoin

Jeff Melvoin

Writer and Showrunner (»Northern Exposure«, »Designated Survivor«, »Killing Eve«), USA
Sanne Nuyens

Sanne Nuyens

European Showrunner Programme

Writer & Creator | »Hotel Beau Séjour«, »The Twelve«


Thanks to our Funders and Partners

Funded by

Media Partner

Partners Think Tanks and Network

Associated Training Programmes

Questions? Ask us!

Carolin Groẞe Hellmann

Head of Serial Storytelling


Professional Training for Screenwriters


European Showrunner Programme

+49 221 920188261

Hannah Schorr

Coordinator European Showrunner Programme


Deputy Equal Opportunities Officer

+49 221 920188270