028 – Tamiko Brooks (8 Simple Rules, Half & Half)

Writer Tamiko Brooks grew up in Detroit, but knew from an early age she wanted to work in the entertainment industry. She was not only the first Nickelodeon live action fellow, but was also accepted to the Disney/ABC writing fellowship.


Tamiko Brooks earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago. After graduation, she headed west to L.A., and got a job as an assistant on the TV sitcom, Moesha. Under the mentorship of some of the writers, Tamiko began writing spec sitcoms and ultimately received her first writing credit in 1999 with an episode of Moesha.

Soon after, Tamiko was accepted to the first year of the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship, along with former podcast interviewee Courtney Lilly. She was relocated to Orlando, FL to work on the Nick sitcom, Taina.

After that, she became an ABC/Disney writing fellow. As a result, she was placed on the sitcom, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The head writer was so impressed with her that he hired her on staff, and she was with the show for two seasons until its cancellation.

Tamiko was then hired as a writer on Half & Half. Additionally, Tamiko has written freelance assignments for The Proud Family and the daytime drama One Life to Live.

You’ll learn a lot from Tamiko about navigating the industry, and dealing with the ups and downs and cyclical nature of TV schedules.

Make sure you take part in the TV Writer Chat this Sunday night, as it will feature the launch of the first TV Writer Podcast contest, with some amazing prizes! Get the details about the chat at tvwriterchat.com.

Follow Tamiko on Twitter: @TamikoBrooks

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

010 – Keto Shimizu (The Cape)

Next up in our Women TV Writers series, we meet Keto Shimizu, an alumnus of the NBC Writers on the Verge program, who landed a staff writing gig on NBC’s The Cape in her mid-twenties, just three years after arriving in L.A. Want to find out how?


Though young, Keto has a lot of very practical advice for getting started in the business. Find out how she used her connections from Boston’s Emerson College to land several jobs in L.A., including post-production assistant on the recent TRON: Legacy.

Then, learn all about the NBC Writers on the Verge program, and how continuing to network with its participants helped her to draft a new TV pilot that was instrumental in her securing representation.

Finally, find out about The Cape — how advice to “geek out” paid off in landing the gig as a full staff writer, and also a great behind the scenes look at the writers room and how the first season has gone from script to screen!

Make sure you watch The Cape on NBC, Mondays at 9/8c, just after Chuck!

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

About the Podcast and the Partnership

TV Writer Podcast

Why start the TV Writer Podcast?

It’s really the same reason I created a podcast for Chuck. I looked around, and couldn’t find one.

There are oodles of podcasts about writing feature film scripts and novels. A few offer a smorgasbord, which happens to include TV writers. However, to my knowledge there is no podcast devoted exclusively to the creators of the small screen, despite the fact that there may be as many as ten times the number of writers working in television as those who write for features. Also, it helps that in my Chuck podcast, I found I especially enjoyed speaking to the writers.

My primary goal is to offer great podcast interviews with working writers in various genres and parts of the television industry. One week may feature a showrunner for a Hollywood scripted drama, and the next may feature a writer for a Canadian kids animation show.

Another very important goal is to make these “unsung heroes” into “sung heroes,” so to speak. At times it baffles me why so much media and attention is given to the cast, and yet so little attention is given to those who create the stories we love… not just showrunners and executive producers, but writers at all levels.

What does “partner of Script Magazine” mean?

I’m very proud that Script Magazine, a Final Draft, Inc. publication, has chosen to partner with me on the TV Writer Podcast. They will promote the podcast on their newly revamped website, and also assist me in contacting writers for interviews. When they feature TV writers in the print magazine, these writers will be approached for possible podcast interviews to tie in with the print articles.

What are my goals for the website?

It’s not that there aren’t great resources for existing and aspiring TV writers; it’s just that most are devoted to a particular writer, book, organization, or service. As such, they either have a specific slant, or are limited in some way.

Of course, the website will support the podcast, with enhancements related to the episodes (like bio information for the interviewees and links to their suggested resources, favorite books, etc.). However, my goal is that the site will be a hub where you can find organized links to many different resources for TV writing, as well as be a place to gather for helpful discussion.

I need you!

To accomplish these goals, I need you! I need your ideas and feedback on the site. I need suggestions for blogs, sites, books, DVDs, podcasts, and seminars you’ve found helpful. I need guest article writers and book reviewers. No suggestion is too small! Please send me an email if you have anything to say.

I also especially need writers to interview. If you are a working writer yourself, or if you know any writers who are open to being interviewed, please contact me.

TVWP and other notes

You may notice when you try to abbreviate the podcast name it is the same acronym as “Television Without Pity,” a wonderful TV-related website. My bad. I had registered the name long before this occurred to me. So… please try to abbreviate this podcast as TVW_P, and on Twitter use the hash tag #TVW_P.

Also, you’ll notice many resources on the site related to feature film writing. While the podcast will be focused on TV writers, I would be remiss if I were to leave out the wonderful wealth of information provided by authors of feature writing and general writing books, blogs, and sites.

Thanks,
Gray.