The initiative, commissioned and paid for by COI Communications, will see St Luke's develop the theme of the DfES's "get on" advertising to push a wider message.
It is the first work by St Luke's in a longer-term strategy to offer television programming capability to clients.
The initiative is led by Jeani Rogers, the head of programming at St Luke's. Rogers was previously in charge of programming content for television at HHCL & Partners.
St Luke's and Carlton will develop eight clips of real-life case studies of illiterate adults who have taken the difficult step of returning to study despite having failed in their youth.
An initial burst of four vignettes is to run in the second week of February within Carlton's City Survival Guide twice daily at 4pm and after the 6pm news.
"Strategically, the programmes work perfectly in tandem with the gremlin advertising," Stuart Barnes, an account director at St Luke's, said. "The audience needs to be reassured that taking a course wouldn't be like going back to school all over again."
The DfES believes that up to seven million adults in the UK have reading and writing skills below those expected of an average 11-year-old.
Manning Gottlieb OMD has handled the media strategy for the adult literacy campaign since its launch in 2001.