026 – Jen Grisanti (author & story career consultant)

Jen Grisanti is a story career consultant, independent producer, writing instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the new books, Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells.


Jen spent 12 years under the mentorship of Aaron Spelling, eventually running Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and Charmed. In 2004, Jen was promoted to VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, where she covered such shows as Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400, and Girlfriends. While at CBS/Paramount, she served as a mentor in the CBS Diversity Program, which seeks out and nurtures young writers and directors.

In January 2008, Jen launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. By drawing on her 12-year experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers & showrunners, Jen personally guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches, and focus their careers. Since launching, Jen has worked with over 300 writers working in television, features, and novels. In the first three years, already 20 of her clients have staffed as writers on television shows and two have sold pilots that went to series. In 2008, Jen was hired to be the Writing Instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge.

Her brand is Developing From Within. Her company hosts Storywise Seminars and Teleseminars as a way to get this message out. In addition to her books, she has CDs and workbooks, and also has an excellent Storywise Podcast Series available on iTunes and her website.

Visit her website at jengrisanticonsultancy.com.

Follow Jen on Twitter: @JenGrisanti

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.

025 – Karey Dornetto (Portlandia, Community)

Comedy writer & stand-up comic Karey Dornetto has worked on all kinds of comedy shows, from sketch to traditional sitcom, and many in between.


The daughter of a military professor and an ex-nun, Karey was headed for a life of financial trading before taking the plunge to join the sketch comedy group The Perch, in Charlotte, NC. Still working in finance, she moved to New York and began to perform stand-up comedy.

In New York, she wrote a story called “Fat Basketball Diaries” for the online magazine, Girlcomic.net. This story would prove to be a major turning point for her, as the response to the story convinced her she could become a writer. It also helped her land management in L.A., and her first TV writing gig, on South Park.

Moving to Los Angeles, Karey landed gig after gig on a wide variety of comedy shows, such as The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Dog Bites Man, Arrested Development, Community, and her current show, Portlandia. She has a lot of great stories about her path through the industry, as well as her experiences with the different comedy and writing styles.

For more information and writing samples, visit her website at kareydornetto.com.

Follow Karey on Twitter: @KareyDornetto

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.

024 – Courtney Lilly (The Cleveland Show, My Boys)

Comedy writer Courtney Lilly has only been in Hollywood 11 years, and yet has had tremendous success on a number of well-known sitcoms, including Arrested Development, Everybody Hates Chris, My Boys, and The Cleveland Show. You’re going to love his story!


Working as a journalist on the east coast, Courtney Lilly decided pretty quickly that journalism was not for him. He knew nothing about TV writing, but read everything he could about it, and got accepted to the Nickelodeon Fellowship’s first year, in 2000.

After staffing on the animated show Invader ZIM, Courtney tells how he ended up as an assistant to a lawyer in Encino. Though it seemed like he was far from his goal, he shares how “prepared luck” landed him an influential manager, who helped him land a staff gig on Arrested Development.

From there, Courtney goes into great detail about time on Arrested Development, Everybody Hates Chris, My Boys, and his current show, the Family Guy animated spinoff, The Cleveland Show.

He gives a lot of great tips on breaking in, including the wisdom: “Everyone takes bets … you might as well bet on yourself!”

Follow Courtney on Twitter: @CourtneyLilly

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.

023 – Jennica Harper (Shattered, Mr. Young)

Next in our “writers who have done it all” series is Vancouver-based TV/feature/graphic novel writer, poet, and stand-up comic Jennica Harper. Not only has she worked in many genres and mediums, but she has great tips and anecdotes about them.


Jennica Harper has published poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in over 25 publications in Canada and the United States, as well as two poetry collections, and a graphic novel Abigail’s War, which she currently developing as a feature with Zeros2Heroes Media.

An award-winning stand-up comic, Jennica is a lot of fun to listen to … You’ll love the discussion on how story editing for Canadian features has many similarities to TV writing in Hollywood, yet how Hollywood feature writing differs from the Canadian approach.

Jennica also has a lot of great tips about breaking in, planting many seeds, and being aggressive at going after what you want.

Follow Jennica on Twitter: @jennicaharper

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.

022 – Andrea Moodie (Psi Factor, Property Virgins)

This week we meet another writer who has done it all… Toronto-based writer Andrea Moodie has worked in features, scripted dramatic television, documentaries, reality and lifestyle television, interactive games, and web series. She has a lot of tips on writing for these different mediums, and the differences between them!


Most writers interrupt their lives to write — Andrea interrupts her writing for life. Writing in all forms consumes her, and so it’s not surprising she’s written material for many mediums, and many of her projects have won awards and critical acclaim.

You might recognize some of the titles of shows she’s written for — Property Virgins, Animals at Work, The List, the sci-fi drama Psi Factor, and webisode missions for SyFy’s Sanctuary, among many others.

A graduate of Queens University Film Studies, The Drama Studio London USA, and the Canadian Film Centre, Andrea is an active member of the writing community as a juror for the Dora, Gemini and Writers Guild Top Ten Awards.

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.

021 – Chad Gervich

Do you want to write comedy? Reality? Scripted? Work in development? Write a pilot? Web series? Or maybe work as an executive? This week we have a massive 82 minute podcast with Chad Gervich… and he’s done it all!


Chad Gervich is a television producer, bestselling author, and award- winning playwright who currently has a comedy development deal with 20th Century Fox, and is a writer-producer for After Lately, E!’s hit half-hour comedy starring Chelsea Handler.

As a writer and producer, Chad created Style Network’s hit comedy/reality show, Foody Call, before going on to write, produce, and develop shows (both scripted and reality) for ABC, FOX, Warner Brothers, Endemol, E!, Overbrook, SuperDelicious, CBS Studios, TruTV, Zoo Productions, Fox Reality Channel, Renegade 83, Food Network, and the Weinstein Company. His credits include Wipeout, Cupcake Wars, Reality Binge, Speeders, and others.

Prior to producing, Chad spent five years as a development executive with the Littlefield Company, former NBC president Warren Littlefield’s production company, developing pilots and series for NBC, ABC, UPN, the WB, and Paramount TV. Chad also worked in production on shows such as The Wanda Sykes Show, Star Search, The Academy Awards, and Malcolm in the Middle.

As an author, Chad’s best-selling TV-writing handbook, Small Screen, Big Picture: A Writers Guide to the TV Business, debuted in 2008 to critical acclaim and outstanding sales, and it’s presently being used as a textbook in the CBS Diversity Writing Program, the WGA Showrunners Training Program, NBC’s Writers on the Verge, NATPE’s Diversity Fellowship, California State, and USC’s TV classes.

Chad currently writes Script Magazine’s popular weekly Primetime blog, and contributes regularly to many other publications, including Daily Variety. In addition, he created and produced Morning Call Time, Hollywood’s first daily audio news podcast.

One of Chad’s passions is teaching. With a Playwriting MFA from UCLA, he has spent years teaching writing and producing classes for Mediabistro, Gotham Writers Workshop, Writing Pad, and StoryStudio Chicago, as well as lecturing at colleges and schools such as UCLA and Vanderbilt. He also speaks at festivals and conferences such as the TV/Film Summit, and the Great American Pitchfest.

Follow Chad on Twitter: @ChadGervich

Visit Chad’s website: www.chadgervich.com

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.