011 – TV/Feature Writer Daegan Fryklind

This episode serves as the end of our Women TV Writers series and the beginning of our Canadian TV Market series, which will run through the month of March.


Today we meet Daegan Fryklind: a well-established Canadian writer who lives in Vancouver, but often comes to Toronto for writing jobs. In addition to working on well-known series Being Erica, The Listener, and Cold Squad, she has won a Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series Screenwriting (JPod), has been nominated for a Canadian Screenwriter Award (Robson Arms), and co-wrote the animated feature Edison & Leo, which won “Best Animated Feature” at the Bangkok International Animation Film Festival.

In our longest interview yet, she touches on many aspects of the Canadian writing market, from why animated shows are an excellent way to develop dialogue writing skills, to how Canadian TV writing fellowships differ from US fellowships, to rewriting scripts to meet Canadian funding guidelines, to the changing landscape for writers in Vancouver vs Toronto.

Because the Canadian writing market is in many ways tougher than the US market, writers like Daegan can offer great tips to US writers who are trying to break in… plus, find out what part of the Canadian industry might actually entice US writers to move north!

Follow Daegan Fryklind on Twitter: @daeganf

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.

009 – Elisabeth R. Finch & Kate Barnow (No Ordinary Family)

As we continue our Women TV Writers series, we are excited to present our first writing team, Elisabeth R. Finch and Kate Barnow, who wrote for HBO’s True Blood, and now are staffed on ABC’s No Ordinary Family.


They had very different paths into the industry… Elisabeth was a playwright from Jersey and Kate a former history major writing an unproducible period piece. Which women’s career website connected them with True Blood? And how did their jobs as assistant and script coordinator equip them to write the True Blood comic book?

Find out how they managed to write three freelance True Blood scripts while still performing their other job duties, and then how they made the jump to full staff writers at No Ordinary Family. They also share many of the ways that the writing process varies between cable shows and network shows.

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.

008 – Ali Adler (Chuck, No Ordinary Family)

As we begin our Women TV Writers series, we are excited to have two interviews with Ali Adler, Co-Executive Producer and writer of ABC’s exciting new show, No Ordinary Family.


Gray kicks off the episode with a discussion on the current employment statistics for women and minorities in TV writing.

Then, we feature an interview Gray had with Ali in February 2009, when she talked about how she got started writing, her career path, her work with the Young Storytellers Foundation, and also much about the process of writing Chuck.

In Gray’s latest interview with Ali, they discuss her experiences on various staffs, her opinion on how to motivate women to break in, and much about her experiences on her new show, No Ordinary Family. She answers many fan questions, and teases about what’s to come in what she promises are some very strong upcoming episodes.

[ed. note: Ali Adler is now the show runner for Supergirl on CBS.]

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.

007 – V Showrunner Scott Rosenbaum

What if you were called in to run a show that had just aired its first four episodes, and was put on hold? That happened to former Chuck writer/co-executive producer Scott Rosenbaum, and it he accepted the challenge!

It wasn’t easy, but Scott steered the show V into new waters, and it has gotten stronger and stronger ever since.


You’ll be fascinated to hear how Scott lost his writing staff due to production delays, and had to deliver the last two episodes and the pitch for season 2 by himself, with just the studio as a sounding board!

Hear also how he selected the season 2 writing staff, his advice for writing spec scripts, how to properly prepare for a staffing interview, and how a chance meeting ended up securing an actor for one of the most important new characters in season 2.

We also include an interview Gray had with Scott back in March 2010, just before his first V episodes started to air. In this interview he shares his career path, from how he got started as a writer to his work on Chuck, including insight on why “bottle episodes” often end up being the strongest.

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.

006 – TV & Feature Writer Dan McDermott

Are you wondering whether to write features or television? To try to get a pilot produced, or to work on a staff? Or are you concerned you don’t have enough time to write because of your busy family life?

This week we meet someone who does it all… Dan McDermott, co-executive producer and writer on Fox’s Human Target, which began its second season this Wednesday. Click image to play video; more details are below.


You’ll love hearing how Dan manages to write both features and television at the same time, with great success! While writing the action-packed blockbuster “Eagle Eye,” he also successfully sold the pilot for and executive produced the TV series “Angela’s Eyes.”

He shares many cool stories, including how he came up with the idea for Eagle Eye, his work on the Romancing the Stone remake, and why the iconic ending of the original Soylent Green is only the midpoint of his adaptation of the story.

Oh, yeah… and he does this all with a wife and son! He shares practical advice on how to balance family life, features, and television at the same time.

Make sure you watch Dan’s work on Human Target, airing on Fox on Wednesdays at 8/7c. Also, check out our interview with Human Target showrunner Matt Miller if you haven’t already!

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.

005 – Emmy Winning Comedy Writer Rob Kutner

He’s won 5 Prime Time Emmys, a Grammy, a Peabody, and a Television Critics’ Association Award, and was even named a “SuperJew” by Time Out New York. No, he doesn’t have superpowers, but that hasn’t stopped comedy writer Rob Kutner from writing over 1000 episodes of great comedy shows The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Dennis Miller Live.

Oh, and did we mention that he’s a best-selling author too? His recent satirical end-of-times bestseller Apocalypse How: Turn the End Times into the Best of Times! is one of the top 100 parodies at Amazon.com. Click image to play video; more details are below.


You’ll love hearing how he got his comedy start as the only Jewish kid in a Christian kindergarten class… How studies at Princeton led to him being deported from Uzbekistan… How Dennis Miller gave him his first break… and all his tips for getting in to comedy writing.

Rob recommends several books in the podcast — you can find them all, including his book “Apocalypse How,” in the TV Writer Podcast mini-Amazon store. Please CLICK HERE to support the podcast by buying books through the mini-store, or CLICK HERE to browse Amazon.com’s whole catalog.

Rob also takes the time to answer many fan questions that came in over Twitter… You can follow him at @ApocalypseHow.

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.