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DAWSON’S CREEK, LIFE UNEXPECTED, and Beyond: Liz Tigelaar Reflects on Her Writing Career (So Far)

December 19, 2014 by  
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Liz TigelaarTelevision writer and executive producer Liz Tigelaar has had a fascinating career — fascinating enough to warrant sitting down with and talking in depth about its trajectory and the various lessons she has learned along the way.

Tigelaar got her start in the writer’s room of DAWSON’S CREEK, a dream project for many television fans and writers of a certain age who wanted to work on relationship dramas. That first show immediately set the tone for her career and her niche. She went from there to shows like AMERICAN DREAMS, WHAT ABOUT BRIAN, and BROTHERS & SISTERS before creating her own beloved — but sadly short-lived — family drama LIFE UNEXPECTED on The CW.

And it was after the cancellation of LIFE UNEXPECTED that things got really interesting, though. Tigelaar signed an overall deal with ABC Studios and ended up making the rounds on some of their highest profile dramas before doing a stint with A&E,  and, oh, at times she was pulling double duty preparing her own pilot, too. Tigelaar went from being the boss — the person who created the world of the show and knew it inside and out — to working in a room on a show whose world had been established before she came aboard. Many writers who had already achieved what she had might have balked at the idea of working for someone else again, but Tigelaar not only took the opportunity but welcomed it to grow even further.

“So much of the external success — getting your show picked up, selling pilots — it’s all such a matter of someone else’s taste and of their perception of you. Those are really the things you can’t control,” Tigelaar said. “I mean, I feel very fortunate that The CW put LIFE UNEXPECTED on. Of course I was really disappointed they canceled it, but they put it on and gave it two seasons and it was an amazing opportunity. But by no means do I think because I ran that show that I don’t have anything more to learn about writing or show running! I feel like if anything probably running a show shows you how much you have to learn.”

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JANE THE VIRGIN: Gina Rodriguez, Justin Baldoni, Brett Dier Discuss Jane’s Big Choice

November 17, 2014 by  
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[Spoiler alert if you haven’t yet seen “Chapter Six” of JANE THE VIRGIN!]

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On the Set of JANE THE VIRGIN: 7 Things To Know About What’s to Come

November 14, 2014 by  
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JANE THE VIRGIN is mid-way through its original 13-episode run, and things are moving fast! The CW ordered the back nine episodes — granting the freshman drama a full first season — but that doesn’t mean show creator Jennie Synder Urman and her writers room are resting on their laurels or dragging storylines out, old-school soap opera style. Instead, this comedic play on a telenovela about a young woman who gets artificially inseminated and has her whole world turned upside down is picking up the pace and changing relationship statuses to introduce all new dynamics.

I visited the Manhattan Beach (standing in for Miami) set of JANE THE VIRGIN earlier this week to sit down with the cast and find out all the juicy secrets about to unfold. Here is some of what I learned…

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PARENTHOOD’s Jason Katims, Erika Christensen, and Sam Jaeger on What’s Next for Joel and Julia

November 12, 2014 by  
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NBC held a 100th episode cake cutting celebration event in Los Angeles last week to celebrate PARENTHOOD’s major milestone. To kick things off, series creator and showrunner Jason Katims spoke about his journey with the show and what the family the show created — both the Bravermans and the behind-the-scenes group — meant to him. He wrapped things up thanking the “incredibly passionate and loyal” PARENTHOOD fans, without whom he felt the show would not still be here. But he also apologized to those same fans for one very key two-season story.

“I apologize for making you so mad about Joel and Julia,” Katims said. “I definitely want to bring that storyline to a resolution by the end of the year… The thing is, I didn’t want to, in the beginning of the season, have them just be like ‘Oh, now we’re back together.’ I don’t know if they would have really gotten through what they needed to get through [in their time off-screen], so that’s what I am trying to explore this season [and] to have the ending earned.”

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PARENTHOOD: Jason Katims and NBC’s Bob Greenblatt Reflect on the Show’s Run

November 10, 2014 by  
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parenthood-100“In this day and age, we order a series six episodes here, 10 episodes there, and it takes longer and longer to get to 100, and many shows never do it. So it’s an accomplishment in and of itself and a testament to this great show and everyone involved [at PARENTHOOD],” Chairman of NBC Entertainment Bob Greenblatt said to kick off a very special 100th episode cake cutting celebration in Los Angeles last week.

“I think in this day and age it gets harder and harder to find shows that break through the clutter, and when you get into themes that are just universal, I think you have the best chance of that happening,” he continued. “[PARENTHOOD] is an extraordinary show. We remain very, very proud of it. I’m happy we’re sending it off in the right way. There will be, I’m sure, many tears to shed in the coming episodes.”

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David Caspe Talks NBC’s MARRY ME and Lessons From HAPPY ENDINGS

October 14, 2014 by  
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It may be inevitable, when describing David Caspe’s new NBC comedy, MARRY ME, to compare it to his ABC comedy HAPPY ENDINGS. Not only is Caspe drawing from the same acting pool (his real-life wife, Casey Wilson, plays female lead Annie, while HAPPY ENDINGS guest stars Ken Marino, John Gemberling, and Sarah Wright round out the core ensemble), but he is also playing with a variation on the wedding motif that we saw famously begin (and end each season of) his former show. And for some audiences (cough, me), it’s still so hard to let go of HAPPY ENDINGS, that we want to see it elsewhere.

HAPPY ENDINGS was how Caspe was introduced to television audiences, and MARRY ME is how they will get to know the version of him that has grown up and learned a lot from his first television show. But I think you should get to know him and his work even deeper than that, so I set out to talk with him about both — how they are different, but also how one influences the other — about the importance of the opening titles, and how and why MARRY ME stands on its own, whether you loved, hated, or weren’t even aware of HAPPY ENDINGS…

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