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

Katrin Merkel, Head of Studies (c) Nicola Fegg

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.

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