Brit List 2020 Revealed: London Crime-Drama & Philadelphia Newsroom Story Among Lineup Of Best Unproduced Film & TV Scripts

Andreas Wiseman
·5 min read

This year’s Brit List of best unproduced scripts is topped with twelve recommendations by Amy Guyler’s TV comedy-drama The Jude Problem from The Man In The High Castle producer Headline Pictures.

Close behind with eleven industry recommendations each are newsroom drama The Philadelphia Hope about a team of journalists behind an African American newspaper in 1920s Philadelphia, and crime-thriller Bad Manor about an infamous London crime family. Scroll down for the lineup in full.

Inspired by the U.S. Black List, the scripts showcase is compiled each year from recommendations by British production companies, talent agencies, sales companies, financiers, distributors and broadcasters.

In a change from previous editions, and to reflect that writers increasingly work across both film and TV, this year’s lineup is made up of both film and TV projects.

According to organizers, there were a record number of companies taking part this year, with 246 scripts put forward. For the first time, projects needed a minimum of six recommendations for consideration. In total, 14 scripts were selected.

The lineup is more diverse than ever. 52% of the list are scripts by female writers and 29% of writers come from diverse backgrounds.

Over the last 12 years, 70 Brit List screenplays have been produced, including Oscar-winner The Favourite, Ewan McGregor starrer Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and indie thriller The Survivalist. Last year’s Brit List TV lineup was topped by Karen Cogan’s script Fled, about the last remaining Mother and Baby Home in 90’s Ireland.

The initiative’s main sponsors are Red Arrow Studios International in association with Kinetic Content, with Final Draft, ScreenSkills, Silver Reel and the Film Distributors’ Association also supporting. Thanks to their backing, the Brit List will this year offer writers a program of workshops and events.

Brit List 2020:


THE JUDE PROBLEM by Amy Guyler (The Agency)

Producers: Headline Pictures

Form: TV Genre: Comedy Drama

Summary: When her estranged mum goes missing, Jess is forced home to track her down – and is shocked to discover a nine-year-old half-brother (Jude) she never knew she had. But as she begins to spend more time with him, Jess soon realises that Jude is not like other children…


THE PHILADELPHIA HOPE by Tumi Belo (Casarotto)

Producers: Available

Form: TV Genre: Newsroom Drama

Summary: A drama following the crack team of journalists behind an African American newspaper in 1920s Philadelphia.

BAD MANOR by Elliot Warren (Independent Talent Group)

Producers: The Forge

Form: TV Genre: Crime Thriller

Summary: The Dockers were once an infamous crime family, now they are struggling to get by. But the return of their youngest son from prison comes just in time to change their fortunes, as the family are plunged back into the depths of London’s criminal underworld.


THE GENDER GAMES by Matthew Barry (The Agency)

Producers: SunnyMarch

Form: TV Genre: Comedy Drama

Summary: Half hour comedy drama about sex and dating based on Juno Dawson’s memoir.


TIVOLI by Ameir Brown (The Agency)

Producers: Available

Form: TV Genre: Drama

Summary: When a bloody conflict erupts between a drug lord and the Jamaican state, the people of Tivoli Gardens find themselves caught in the crossfire as the War on Drugs hits Jamaica’s shores. Based on true events.


WILDCARD by Youness Benali (Independent Talent Group)

Producers: Rooks Nest

Form: Feature Film Genre: Drama

Summary: The searing true story of a promising young tennis player pushed to the brink by his father who will stop at nothing to win.

CARING by Matilda Ibini & Gabriel Bisset-Smith (Curtis Brown & Independent Talent Group)

Producers: Home Team Content and BBC Films

Form: Feature Film Genre: Horror-comedy

Summary: A horror-comedy about a disabled woman who finally finds a good carer — only to discover the carer is a serial killer.

OPUS by Wunmi Ibironke (Independent Talent Group)

Producers: Available

Form: TV Genre: Fantasy Drama

Summary: A dark coming of age comedy-drama based on Yoruba Mythology. After 19-year-old Lorraine’s painting opens a portal to a mystical realm, she and her friends have to navigate their newfound powers and battle the demons and mythological creatures that have been unleashed in their East London town.

LAST WEEK (previously Seven Days) by Alan McDonald (Dench Arnold)

Producers: Available

Form: TV Genre: High-concept Relationship Drama

Summary: A hopeful, heartfelt relationship drama with a twist: in one week, a meteor will hit Earth and humanity is finished – we’re the dodo but with iPhones. In a small Scottish town, a few locals with nowhere else to go try to make peace with their personal demons before it’s too late… and rediscover the value of community in the process.

SKIN & BONE by Billy & Theo Mason Wood (Independent Talent Group)

Producers: Hattrick Productions

Form: TV Genre: Thriller

Summary: A brilliant but struggling funeral director is forced to work for the Ukrainian Mafia harvesting bodies and selling them on the black market before it is her and her family lying on the embalming table.


DANGEROUS APPRAISALS by Rosamund Attwood (Independent Talent Group)

Producers: Wall to Wall

Form: TV Genre: Dark Comedy / Psychological Drama

Summary: The world’s most invasive Human Resources assistant allows her infatuation with a glamorous older colleague to escalate into a violent obsession, set to destroy the lives of both women.

MAMMY’S GIRL by Roanne Bardsley (Independent Talent Group)

Producers: Available

Form: TV Genre: Drama

Summary: Struggling single mum Nia has big plans for her daughter, but when Carys makes a fatal mistake that will put her future in jeopardy, Nia’s forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to protect her only child.

JAILTOWN by Cat Jones (42)

Producers: BBC Studios in Association with Lighthouse

Form: TV Genre: Prison Thriller

Summary: A surreal thriller set in a prison. A sadistic wing boss has his reign threatened by his estranged brother’s return to the prison.

DELILAH MUST DIE by Bel Knight & Clare Hoey (Tavistock Wood)

Producers: Big Talk Productions

Form: TV Genre: Comedy Drama

Summary: A lonely and intense working-class girl wins a bursary to an elite girls’ boarding school where she meets teen dream Delilah. She doesn’t know whether she wants to be Delilah or fuck her, but her killer crush metastasises into a lethal obsession.

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