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Tag: The Women Who Run TV (1-3 of 3)

Zooey Deschanel, 'New Girl' creator discuss the kiss, and the lack of a master plan for the show

If fans of the New Girl thought that the kiss between Jess and Nick was somewhat inevitable — given the growing, palpable rapport between actors Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson — well, now you understand why the writers of the show decided to let it happen. “I think people were seeing the chemistry growing between these characters, and at some point you want some kind of payoff,” says Deschanel. “And this was the perfect time for it.”

New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether says the kiss flowed organically out of a creative process that prizes improvisation and writes to the cast’s individual strengths and group dynamics. That doesn’t mean the writers room doesn’t drive the storytelling or plotting, though. For example, the Halloween episode, in which Jess dresses up a zombie Woody Allen. Says Meriwether: “I did dress up as a young, slutty Woody Allen at a Halloween party, which is where that idea came from. Whatever the opposite of getting laid was, that’s what happened that night. It was the biggest turn off to everybody.” READ FULL STORY

The Women Who Run TV: 'Homeland' writer Meredith Stiehm on Claire Danes, new FX pilot

Kent Smith/SHOWTIME

Kent Smith/SHOWTIME

Writer Meredith Stiehm, 44, shares similarities with Homeland‘s Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes): both work in male-dominated places (Stiehm is the Showtime series’ sole female writer) and both have personal connections to bipolar disorder (Stiehm’s sister, like Carrie, suffers from the condition). Stiehm  has penned some of the series most acclaimed and talked about episodes, including season one’s “The Weekend,” where Brody (Damian Lewis) and Carrie go to her cabin in the woods, and season two’s “New Car Smell,” in which Carrie finally arrests Brody.

“I didn’t come in until like episode 4,” says Stiehm. “[Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa] created the character and the show. Around episode 4, they realized that there were all male writers and they had a female lead so they wanted a female writer.” Adds Danes, “She’s really incredible. Her voice is so distinctive and so honest and funny. She has a very wry sensibility that’s so in keeping with who Carrie is.  But she also is very warm and feeling and all of that translates into all her work. I owe an enormous amount to Meredith.”
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The Women Who Run TV: Q&A with 'Vampire Diaries' EP Julie Plec

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, we speak to the women behind the shows we love, and that includes The Vampire Diaries‘ exec producer Julie Plec, who weaves an epic tale of vampire romance — and loneliness — with twists that make us gasp, swoon, and sob. Here, Plec, 40, shares how she went from TV fan to showrunner, where she gets her inspiration, who is her secret weapon, what she and Kevin Williamson were doing when they “met and fell in love,” and when they decided how TVD would ultimately end.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you first moved to LA, what did you set out to do?

JULIE PLEC: I embarrass myself repeatedly when I say this, because I find it to be so terribly shallow. I wish I could say, “Oh, having read Shakespeare, I just really wanted to be a storyteller.” No. I wanted to work in Hollywood. I was captivated by it. I read Premiere magazine, and Movieline magazine, and Us before it was a weekly magazine. I read Tiger Beat and Bop from the time I was 9, 10, 11 years old. I loved movies. I saw E.T. seven times. I used to yell at people who called me when L.A. Law was on because they should know better. So I just have been so in love with the business of Hollywood since I can remember. And I just sorta said, “Well, I ‘m gonna go. I’m gonna do something.” And what’s hilarious is that I was a film major at Northwestern, and I transferred out of the film program halfway through because I thought, “Well, I don’t want to be a director, and I can’t write, and producers are only into the money, so I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do.” I ended up with an interdepartmental major where I did a lot of theater, a lot of communications, and some film work. I learned more about who I am, and how to be a great worker, and a great artistic worker, from doing student theater. I was a stage manager, I was an assistant stage manager, I was on the running crew. I did probably 25 shows at Northwestern, all musicals of course. [LaughsREAD FULL STORY

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