Formatting your script

Guidelines and example scripts

I write because I have secrets no one else knows Tony Grounds

Presenting your work appropriately suggests a professional approach and an understanding of the medium and format for which you are writing.

Deciding which format to use will be determined by the type of script you are writing. Formats are dictated by technology, and there are good reasons for using them. A correctly formatted script makes an executive's life easier and a writer's life simpler - especially during the long process of rewriting.

When sending your script to BBC writersroom, please only type or print on one side of the paper.

You can read formatted TV and radio scripts previously produced by the BBC in our script library.

The following are examples of standard formats for television, radio, film and stage.

Script examples



Screenplay (PDF) - Standard format for films and single TV drama


Screenplay (PDF) - Standard format for filmed TV shows (with act breaks)

BBC Taped Drama (PDF) - BBC standard format for taped drama series

BBC Taped Sitcom (PDF) - BBC standard format for studio-based audience sitcom

Tape-Live (PDF) - Standard US format for taped studio shows

Three-Camera (PDF) - Standard US format for studio-based audience sitcom


BBC Scene Style (PDF) - BBC standard format for drama and non-audience comedy

BBC Cue Style (PDF) - BBC standard format for audience comedy and sketch

US Radio Drama (PDF) - Standard US format


UK Stage (PDF) - Acceptable UK format

US Stage (PDF) - Standard US format


Scriptwriting software

There are various dedicated scriptwriting software applications available including Final Draft, Movie Magic Screenwriter, and CeltX.

The following open source scriptwriting software applications are currently available for free on the web

Celtx  - a free media pre-production software designed for creating and organising screenplays, films, stageplays and audio plays and more.

Page 2 Stage  - screenwriting software designed for people writing screenplays, scripts, and plays.

Five Sprockets - provides a range of free screenwriting software resources.


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