Ser­i­al Eyes cel­e­brates its 10th year with a new Head of Stud­ies and excit­ing devel­op­ments

Ser­i­al Eyes, the DFFB’s post­grad­u­ate train­ing pro­gramme for writ­ers of tele­vi­sion series, is cel­e­brat­ing its tenth year. With the achieve­ment of this mile­stone, the DFFB has tak­en fur­ther steps to secure the programme’s suc­cess­ful future: a fresh­ly appoint­ed Head of Stud­ies, a new indus­try part­ner, a new advi­so­ry board, and a new set of 12 par­tic­i­pants start­ing the next term in Sep­tem­ber.

Ser­i­al Eyes is hap­py to announce its new Head of Stud­ies, Katrin Merkel, who began the posi­tion on 1st July 2022. Katrin Merkel has many years of expe­ri­ence work­ing in var­i­ous depart­ments of tele­vi­sion. She has worked as writer and in script devel­op­ment for a vari­ety of major pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies, as a script read­er and dra­maturge in the fic­tion depart­ment of the Ger­man pri­vate broad­cast­er RTL Tele­vi­sion, as a free­lance devel­op­ment pro­duc­er for var­i­ous TV series pro­duc­tions, and as a teacher for dra­matur­gy and ser­i­al storytelling/​Writers’ Room. In 2021, she pub­lished the well-received book DER GERMAN ROOM – Der US-Writ­ers’ Room in der deutschen Serienen­twick­lung togeth­er with her co-author Timo Gößler.

“I feel very hon­oured to be now part of Ser­i­al Eyes, Europe’s first and pre­mier post­grad­u­ate edu­ca­tion pro­gram in ser­i­al sto­ry­telling. Form­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of Euro­pean tele­vi­sion writ­ers is a real mat­ter of the heart to me. Com­bin­ing the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and effi­cien­cy of the US Amer­i­can Writ­ers’ Room sys­tem with our Euro­pean tra­di­tions and mar­ket real­i­ties is a chal­lenge. I am proud and can’t wait to con­tribute my knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence to the devel­op­ment of this process.” (Katrin Merkel)

This year, once again, Ser­i­al Eyes has attract­ed par­tic­i­pants from all over the world. A total of twelve writ­ers from Czech Repub­lic, France, Italy, Ger­many, Nether­lands, Ser­bia, Hun­gary, Kenya, Israel, and Fin­land will devel­op new con­cepts for tele­vi­sion series and learn to work col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly in the Writ­ers’ Room. Under the guid­ance of a team of inter­na­tion­al lec­tur­ers from the indus­try – show run­ners, head writ­ers, pro­duc­ers, and com­mis­sion­ing edi­tors of Euro­pean broad­cast­ers – each par­tic­i­pant will devel­op a tele­vi­sion series that will be pre­sent­ed at the Final Pitch in front of a pro­fes­sion­al audi­ence at the end of the pro­gramme in May 2023.

Fur­ther­more, Ser­i­al Eyes has a strong new indus­try part­ner on board: VIS, the inter­na­tion­al stu­dio divi­sion of Para­mount and one of the world’s lead­ing pro­duc­ers of pre­mi­um enter­tain­ment con­tent, has part­nered with Ser­i­al Eyes to help fos­ter the next gen­er­a­tion of screen­writ­ing tal­ent. VIS now joins oth­er top indus­try part­ners like Sky Deutsch­land, Atlan­tique Pro­duc­tions, Dynam­ic Tele­vi­sion, Real Film, and Big Light Pro­duc­tions to sup­port the series writ­ers of the future.

To ensure the con­tin­ued suc­cess­ful devel­op­ment of Ser­i­al Eyes into and beyond its tenth year, a board con­sist­ing of Jana Bur­bach (Ser­i­al Eyes Alum­na 2014/​15, Writer – Tribes of Europa, Break­ing Even), Nathalie Perus (Gen­er­al Manager/​Atlantique Pro­duc­tions), Frank Spot­nitz (CEO/​Big Light Pro­duc­tions, Writer and Pro­duc­er – The X Files, The Man in the High Cas­tle), and Klaus Zim­mer­mann (Man­ag­ing Director/​Dynamic Tele­vi­sion, Pro­duc­er – Bor­gia, Drops of God) has been estab­lished. The board will pro­vide insti­tu­tion­al knowl­edge, assist in assur­ing the high-qual­i­ty stan­dards of Ser­i­al Eyes and work close­ly strate­gi­cal­ly with Katrin Merkel to fos­ter the growth of the pro­gramme.