Peter Cox

Peter is writing a six-part tv drama series, while examining the relationship between television ‘writers rooms’ and individual authorship.

PhD awarded 2023

Peter completed his MA in 2002 at the IIML with his TV series project The Insider's Guide to Happiness, which went on to be produced by Gibson Group and screened on TV2, picking up six awards at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards, including best drama series. Since then, the TV series' Peter has created and/or developed have won more than 30 NZ Film and TV awards, and have been distributed in Australia, Canada, the UK, Asia and Europe, with format rights being sold in countries as diverse as Russia and the US. He has also been the recipient of the Buddle-Findlay Sargeson Writer's Fellowship, and won best new NZ Playwright at the Wellington Chapman Tripp theatre awards.

Peter writes: 'The creative side of my PhD focused on a six-part TV drama series. The critical side focused on the function of television "writer's rooms" – particularly in light of the increasingly popular "auteur" view of the US "quality cable" TV series creator/showrunner. How have the conditions of "niche" cable television programming given rise to the concept of the showrunner/auteur? How does this new auteur theory of television authorship mesh with the necessarily collaborative nature of TV serial writing? How does the practical "on the ground" functioning of writer's rooms reflect the authorship of the creator/showrunner?'