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how many pages should a 1 hour TV drama be (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
One of my friends who works in the TV industry says it's about 50 - 60 pages but that's the Australian TV industry ...


Senior Member
it's almost the same 1 page = 1 minute rule of the film script, even though commercial breaks have to be factored in... the format isn't much different, for an hour-long drama... it's the sitcoms that veer further from the film script standards...

to find out what a tv drama should look like, just go to www.script-o-rama.com and take a look at some...


what i learned is that one page of dialogue is a minute and a half and TV shows are rougly 46 minutes without commerials, but theres about two minutes of breathing room so with stage driections factored in and what not yor script will probably be between around 35-40 pages


Senior Member
Stage directions? Your script shouldn't have any stage/camera directions in it unless you're planning on producing it yourself.

I think you'll probably find that it's the other way around with the timing of the script. I've noticed it's usually half a minute to a minute for 1 page. Then again, it depends on how much dialogue and action there is on the page. A scene with no dialogue would take up less space on paper but, depending on the type of action involved, possibly the same amount of screen time.


You could always try to rehearse things as well, but I'd go with what maia said.


General script rules

Hey all

This is a bit of a loaded question so take the advice with a grain of salt.

It depends on who the script is for so if you are pitching, keep that in mind.

A one hour TV script can range from around 35-40 pages to around 50 pages. It depends on who will be broadcasting the show.

I work in Canada and primarily write 1/2 hour comedies. A 1/2 hour run time here equates to 22 minutes and 14 seconds of content time for the show. The rest of the half hour is dedicated to commercial time. Within this 22 minutes and 14 seconds you must also include the time for opening and closing credits. Opening credits shouln't be more than 20-30 seconds for a
1/2 hour. Clsoing credits are usually 30-45 seconds but the networks typically squish them to one side or cut them short anyway.

This leaves you with approx. 21 minutes to tell your story.

Depending on what type of writer you are and what type of story you are telling this will equate to a minimum of about 20 pages to a maximum of 25 pages.

The minute a page rule is a decent general rule but don't trust to too much.

TV and film scripts shouldn't include camera directions as a rule but there is some latitude if a specific camera shot or movement is necessary to move narrative forward or reveal a joke.

Make sure you format your script correctly. I have had many scripts come across my desk that were incorrect and either much too long or much too short once put into a proper structure.

A one hour drama needs to adhere to the same rules. Typically one hour content run time sits between 42-45 minutes depending on the network. So again, a one hour script would likely never be longer than 50 pages. Don't make the mistake of thinking an hour equals sixty minutes which equals 60 pages because so much content would then have to be cut that the script wouldn't work.


On average, every page of a script is about a minute of film. If this is for American TV, there's usually about 15 minutes of commercials in a 60 minute drama, especially if it's "primetime" and on network television. That being said, I would shoot for 45 pages. Be concise, but at the same time, in television it's safer to have too much material than not enough.

I hope that helps. Have fun writing!