Have a NYU Net id? Login here

TV Comedy Writing and Production

What does it take to produce a television sitcom, sketch-com or comedy web series?

Program Overview

Tisch School of the Arts has partnered with the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Australia’s leading center for education and training in the performing arts to give you an immersive experience in comedy television production and writing.

Spend your semester in Sydney and receive in-depth experience working in a television studio and learning the techniques of writing and directing for sketch shows, web series, and TV sitcoms.

Program Highlights:

  • Work in a television studio environment, using single camera shooting in a four-wall set.
  • Receive training in lighting and art direction techniques for single camera production
  • Write a spec script for an existing television sitcom, a late night television comedy sketch and /or original web series.
  • Write and direct short pilots for original sit-com, sketch-com and web series.
  • Work with actors from NIDA.


Your semester abroad consists of the following four courses completing a full-time, 16-unit semester.

Writing for Television: Sketch Comedy

IFMTV-UT 9112 | 4 units | Instructor: Tim Ferguson

The course covers the fundamentals of comedy writing in the U.S. and Australia with special reference to the techniques of writing for sketch shows. The principles and processes of developing comedic material from concept to full draft are examined in theory and practice. 

Intermediate Television Production

FMTV-UT 9177 | 4 units | Instructor: NIDA

Intermediate TV Production (Comedy) provides an in-depth exploration of the creative capabilities (technical, logistical, aesthetic) of producing comedy production work in a television STUDIO environment, using single camera shooting in a four-wall set. Students will also be introduced to the function of a complementary “B Camera” in single camera protocol.  

Students will be trained in working with actors and learn how to connect script and performance through the production of two projects.

The first project will be a short Comedy Sketch and the second project will be a short pilot for a Sit Com or Web series.

The scripts will be selected from the material generated in the preceding companion course called Writing for Television: Situation/Sketch Comedy.

The actors for the first project will be cast from within the class participants. The actors for the second project will be cast from NIDA (The National Institute of Dramatic Art).

Australian Screen Comedy

FMTV-UT 9113 | 4 units | Instructor: Dr. Megan Carrigy

Australian film and television comedies offer potent insights into ongoing debates about colonisation, race, class, gender and politics in contemporary Australian society. In this course we explore a diverse range of historical and contemporary examples with a focus on the strong tradition of satire and situation comedy in Australia. We devote particular attention to Australian screen comedies that utilise, critique and parody other media formats including reality television, current affairs, news reporting, chat shows, sports commentary and merchandising. We examine the capacity for comedy to offend, criticise and provoke outrage but also to promote self-reflection, empathy and identification. We consider how Australian comedies interrogate images of Australians, including stereotypes and national types such as ‘the ocker’ and ‘the larrikin’, to conjure affectionate and hostile portraits of suburban life, the outback and Australians abroad. We attend to the production and reception of comedy in the Australian context but also consider Australian comedy as a transnational phenomenon that travels internationally, inspires remakes in other countries and initiates cross-cultural dialogue. 

The Australian Experience

SCA-UA 9809 | 4 units | Instructor: Dr. Alecia Simmonds


 This course offers a wide-ranging critique of Australian culture and society. It aims to interrogate Australian society with a methodology that draws on critical race theory, feminism, social geography and cultural studies. It will look at issues such as the relationship between Australian settler culture and Aboriginal Australians; Australia’s experience of migration and multiculturalism; Australians’ relationship with their environment; and Australians’ sense of national identity. In particular, it will consider how these issues have played out in popular culture. 

Program Dates:

Spring 2018

Student Arrival: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Student Departure: Friday, May 18, 2018



Film/TV majors: Sight & Sound Studio, one other Sight and Sound course, Fundamentals of Dramatic and Visual Writing, and Production Safety & Set Protocol (FMTV-UT 101)
NYU and Visiting students: Fundamentals of Filmmaking I: The Art of Visual Storytelling (OART-UT 560) or college level experience in film production, and Production Safety & Set Protocol (FMTV-UT 101)

All students
must complete Production Safety & Set Protocol (FMTV-UT 101) prior to enrolling in this program. The course is available in January Term.


Spring 2018: The application for spring 2018 is closed.

For more information please view our Admissions Calendar.


Please read the following admissions information before starting your application.


  • Academic Year 2017-2018 Full-time Tuition, 12-18 unit flat rate per term: $26,451

Additional Fees Include:

  • Housing: $7,442 for students in a 6-bedroom suite (estimated from 2016-17)
  • Non-refundable Registration and Service Fees: $1,261
  • Round-Trip Airfare: $1,500-2,000
  • Visa: $375 (estimated from 2016-17)
  • CSI Insurance $155 (estimated from 2016-17)

Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.

Visit the Office of Global Programs for additional study abroad costs.

Hard Drive Requirements

Students enrolled in TV Comedy Writing and Production are required to purchase two (2) Firewire Hard Drives, one for editing and one for archiving/backup of their Film & TV media.

Two drives are essential for maintaining best practices in today’s digital workflows. Students can expect prices to begin at about $150, increasing with drive capacity and additional features. While there are many brands available, we recommend either G-TECH OR GLYPH for best results.

Film and Television majors can utilize their hard drives from prior production courses for this program.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are opportunities for financial assistance to study abroad.

Please review the Scholarships and Financial Aid for Study Abroad page for more information.


Visit the NYU Sydney website for housing options and descriptions.