093 – Sarah Watson (Creator of The Bold Type, Author of Most Likely)

This week, host Gray Jones returns to the Skype format due to the Coronavirus quarantine, but you’re sure to love his interview with Sarah Watson, creator of The Bold Type and executive producer on Parentood!

Episode 093 is sponsored by Pilar Alessandra of onthepage.tv. Pilar is offering a 10% discount on her interactive online class, Writing the First Draft, which started April 4th, but can be joined any time up to the second class on April 11th. To get your 10% off, use the code onthepage10 at checkout. 

Sarah is very open about the challenges along the way, and how she was able to spin some of the toughest experiences into victories, including her incredibly hopeful young adult novel, Most Likely. Just like the message of the book, she is optimistic that the world is changing for the better, and that the upcoming generation will be the key.

Learn about the innovative way she turned a class she taught at UCLA into a virtual writers room… how getting on staff wasn’t the Holy Grail, but each new opportunity taught her invaluable lessons… how getting onto a network show really propelled her career forward, and how she really found her voice working with Jason Katims on Parenthood… how and why she cancelled a meeting and went straight to Disneyland to buy a season’s pass… how taking a year off and being unavailable turned her into a hot commodity, even leading to a successful pitch to Steven Spielbergand an option on her book!

She also talks about what it was like to be in production on a pilot and getting ready for the big launch of her book, and having to shut it all down overnight because of COVID-19.

INDEX TO THE EPISODE:

0:00 – Introduction
2:57 – Interview starts
3:15 – Shooting pilot, book launch interrupted by COVID-19
9:45 – TV writing course Sarah teaches at UCLA, and why that program is special
13:38 – How Sarah got started, working on Rachel’s Room
15:23 – Early days, how Sarah got on staff
18:44 – How Sarah’s career really took off when she landed a gig on a network show
24:21 – Working on The Middleman with Javi Grillo-Marxuach
26:37 – Writing on Parenthood, and how she really found her voice
29:14 – How she got an overall deal and started to develop shows
34:50 – All the details about developing The Bold Type which is on its fourth season
38:38 – How a soul crushing year led to a hopeful YA novel
44:20 – Details about her untitled re-enactment pilot, and pitching to Steven Spielberg
50:59 – On adapting her YA novel for Amazon
51:45 – Advice to greener writers

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahWatson42

Speaking of COVID-19, you can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you, by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as $1/month! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

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 previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.

Upcoming weekly interviews will include Arika Lisanne Mittman (Paradise Lost, Timeless), Michael Narducci (The Originals), and lots more!

 

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092 – Bob Goodman (Creator of The Zeta Project, EP of Elementary)

The TV Writer Podcast is back, and better than before! In our re-launch, host Gray Jones will be primarily interviewing showrunners and EP level writers. We’ll be moving away from the focus on the newbie writer, and aiming more at the oft-neglected staff to mid-level writer. There is now a dedicated audio-only feed at iTunes, Podbean, Spotify and coming soon to Pandora. You can access the video version via YouTube, iTunes, Podbean, and on the web at tvwriterpodcast.com. Follow @GrayJones on Twitter for updates on upcoming interviews, and be sure to subscribe, like, and post reviews on all of these aggregators. We’ll be bringing WEEKLY episodes every Monday during the stay-at-home order due to Coronavirus / COVID-19.

In episode 092, sponsored by Pilar Alessandra of onthepage.tv, host Gray Jones interviews Bob Goodman, winner of two Daytime Emmy Awards, creator of The Zeta Project, EP of Elementary and writer and Supervising Producer for Warehouse 13. Speaking of On The Page, Pilar is offering a 10% discount on her interactive online class, Writing the First Draft, which starts April 4th. To get your 10% off, use the code onthepage10 at checkout. 

Topics of discussion in the interview included: 

• What to consider when choosing college programs.
• Singing the praises of the Children of Tendu podcast.
• The 5 most important things to succeed in Hollywood.
• How to avoid getting pigeon-holed.
• How to pick the right jobs for your resume.
• Why he feels we need to purge “paying your dues” from our lexicon.
• The glut of Peak TV with 500+ shows — why it is more competitive than ever.
• Going from animated show creator / showrunner to 1 hour drama staff writer.
• About development at the EP level.
• About picking your battles with the network.
• How a show is staffed.
• Do’s and don’ts in staffing meetings.
• How your job is to get into the showrunner’s head.
• What needs to be on the page when staffing, and what is the kiss of death?
• On why taking the long view is so important when looking at your career.

If you are interested in breaking in, check out Bob’s other excellent interviews on episode 8 of the Creative Writing Career podcast, and on Storybeat with Steve Cuden.

Be sure to watch until the end, and listen for the contest code — if you follow GrayJones and tweet the contest code before Friday, April 3rd, you will be entered into a draw to win… 2 rolls of toilet paper! Other prizes may be added too.

Bob Goodman official bio:

Bob Goodman is a television writer-producer who most recently served as Executive Producer on the hit CBS TV series Elementary, and before that he wrote and produced on Syfy’s Warehouse 13.

Prior to his work in live-action, Bob wrote for many years in animation, primarily as a staffer at Warner Bros. His credits include Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond, Justice League Unlimited and Ben Ten; plus he created and ran the Batman Beyond spin-off The Zeta Project. He’s written web-series and videogames including the Dungeons & Dragons game Demon Stone, and several direct-to-DVD animated features including the two-part Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

Bob has received two Daytime Emmy Awards, as well as an Annie Award nomination for Individual Achievement in Writing. He currently has a pilot in development at ABC.

Follow Bob on Twitter: @b0bg00dman

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 previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.

Upcoming weekly interviews will include Sarah Watson (The Bold Type, The Goonies reboot), Arika Lisanne Mittman (Paradise Lost, Timeless), Michael Narducci (The Originals), and lots more!

PLEASE NOTE: ON THE FIRST VERSION OF THE PODCAST GRAPHIC, BOB WAS INCORRECTLY SHOWN AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF WAREHOUSE 13. THIS WAS QUICKLY CORRECTED.

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061 – David Barlow (King, Nothing Too Good For A Cowboy)

As a production manager, David Barlow got his break into writing by a very unusual method… pitching jokes on set! Since then, he has created two series, including the long running Seeing Things, and has over 30 years experience writing in LA, Vancouver, and Toronto.

Most recently, David Barlow was a co-executive producer and writer on the Showcase series King. Previously, he was a producer-writer on the CBC series The Border – twice nominated for the Best Dramatic Series Gemini. He has co-created two television series – Nothing Good Too for a Cowboy (with Charles Lazer), and Seeing Things (with Louis del Grande). His series credits as a story editor and/or writer include Durham County, Blue Murder, Cold Squad, and North of 60.

Barlow may be the only producer to receive Gemini nominations for both Best Dramatic Series (E.N.G.) and Best Sports Program in the same year. The documentary was ‘Chasing the Dream,’ produced with Peter Raymont and William Thomas.

Barlow has received two Gemini Awards for Best Comedy Series (‘Seeing Things’), a Gemini for Best Writing in a Dramatic Series (Max Glick), the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s Margaret Collier Award for his body of work as a screenwriter, and the WGC’s Writer’s Block Award for service to Canadian screenwriters.

He is also a faculty member of the Advanced Television and Film and Media Arts programs at Sheridan College, Oakville and has conducted professional screenwriting workshops across Canada, in Singapore, and in Dublin.

David has lots of great tips on how to break in… you don’t want to miss this one!

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.

055 – Jana Sinyor (Dark Oracle, Being Erica)

She won an International Emmy Award for her series Dark Oracle, and received 16 Gemini Awards for her series Being Erica. This week, we meet Canadian series creator and showrunner Jana Sinyor!


After attending McGill for religious studies, it was an epiphany after a tough shift at a call center that led Jana Sinyor to pursue writing for the screen.

In her interview, Jana shares how her time at the Canadian Film Centre and attending screenwriting functions and parties led to her first freelance script for ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation,’ to writing for a children’s series, and then to create her own original series, ‘Dark Oracle,’ which won an International Emmy Award for Best Youth Drama.

Next Jana created the CBC critically-acclaimed one hour drama ‘Being Erica,’ on which she served as Executive Producer and Showrunner. Temple Street Productions produced the series, which subsequently sold to ABC Soapnet and many territories around the world. Being Erica has been nominated for 16 Gemini Awards – winning three. Jana is in active development on a new one hour series for ABC, as well as a new show for CBC with collaborator Aaron Martin.

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.

002 – Warehouse 13 Showrunner Jack Kenny

Warehouse 13 has been breaking records for the SyFy network since its launch. Today we are pleased to bring you an interview with Warehouse 13 showrunner Jack Kenny.


A graduate of the Juilliard School Theatre Center, Jack was a member of John Houseman’s “The Acting Company” and has acted on Broadway. He is also a director, and a successful show creator.

He talks about co-writing and going solo, his experiences co-creating the controversial show The Book of Daniel, and how he serendipitously came to run Warehouse 13. He also shares many great stories of how Warehouse 13 came to be, the changes he made after the pilot, experiences writing and shooting the show, and what’s to come toward the season finale in September.

Of special interest is the recent crossover episode between Warehouse 13 and Eureka (SyFy). The cross-pollination was a success, increasing ratings not only for the crossover, but also subsequent episodes. Hear Jack tell how a chance meeting at Comic-Con and someone’s BFF led to the crossover.

After the interview, you’ll hear about a new database of TV writers on Twitter, and if you’re watching the video, you’ll see how you can contact any of Warehouse 13‘s writers on Twitter. While you’re at it, why don’t you follow Gray?

For more information about Jack, including a list of credits, click here for his IMDB profile. Wikipedia also has a page on Jack here.

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.