Top Women in Television: Producers

In our continuing series of Top Women in Television Behind the Camera, this week’s salute is for the Top Women Producers:

Toni Graphia (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Battlestar Galactica) – Toni has been working in the industry for 20 years, working as both a writer and producer. She started writing on shows like Quantum Leap, Life Goes On, China Beach and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. In the new millennium, she began wearing both hats on shows like Roswell, Carnivale and Battlestar Galactica with her primary job being that of producer. Most recently she was co-executive producer and occasional writer on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Carol Flint (ER, The West Wing, The Unit, Royal Pains) – Much like her counterpart Toni Graphia, Carol has been working as a writer and producer for over two decades. She began her career on China Beach, L.A. Law, the short-lived series Earth 2 and ER. More recently she worked as a producer on The West Wing, The Unit and Six Degrees. Her current producing work is on Royal Pains.

Andrea Newman (Private Practice, 24, Cold Case) – During her 10 year career as a producer, Andrea has worked on shows like Felicity, Ed, 24, Cold Case and the short-lived series Point Pleasant. She is currently co-executive producer on Private Practice.

Elizabeth Devine (CSI: Miami, CSI) – For the past 8 years, Elizabeth has been part of the CSI franchise where she started out as a technical consultant and executive story editor on CSI. She then moved on to write for both CSI and CSI: Miami. Since 2002 she has worked her way up from consulting producer to producer to supervising producer and is co-executive producer (and occasional writer) for CSI: Miami. She has also served as co-producer and consulting producer on CSI.

Dianne Messina Stanley (Strong Medicine, That’s Life) – Having worked in the industry for nearly 30 years, makes Dianne a veteran of the industry. Her earliest work was as a writer on shows like Harper Valley PTA, The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life and Knots Landing. In the 90’s she began to take on both writing and producing roles on Homefront, Savannah and Early Edition. She later became co-executive producer on That’s Life and Strong Medicine. Most recently she has returned to writing for The Young and the Restless and Army Wives.

Regina Y. Hicks (Girlfriends) – Regina started as a writer on the series Sister, Sister then took her turn as writer and executive producer on the UPN series Girlfriends. She was also co-writer for the Disney movies Jump In!, Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2.

Monica Owusu-Breen and Alison Schapker (Alias, Lost, Brothers & Sisters) – Working as writing partners for the last 10 years, Monica and Alison started out on the long-running series Charmed then moved on to Alias. Their most recent writing work has been on Lost and Brothers & Sisters. They became co-producers on Charmed in 2003, were supervising producers for a year on Alias, and served in the same capacity for Lost for about two years. Most recently they have been working as executive producers on Brothers & Sisters.

Carla Kettner (Bones, Vanished, Judging Amy) – Carla began as a writer on Due South and Early Edition. She then later wrote for Judging Amy, Strong Medicine, Vanished and Bones. Her primary work has been as a co-executive producer on Judging Amy, consulting producer on Strong Medicine and executive producer on Vanished. She is currently co-executive producer on Bones.

Elizabeth Sarnoff (Lost) – Like many before her, Elizabeth started out as a writer. Her earliest work was on NYPD Blue and Crossing Jordan. She then became not only a writer but also a producer on Deadwood. For the last nearly 4 years she has been a writer on Lost as well as a co-executive producer.

Moira Kirland (Medium, Castle) – Moira has been a writer and co-producer on Dark Angel and a writer on Haunted and The Dead Zone. Her most recent work has been as co-executive producer (and occasional writer) on Medium and as consulting producer on Castle.

Natalie Chaidez (Heroes, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) – Like the other women on this list, Natalie began as a writer. She wrote for shows like New York Undercover and Judging Amy. More recently she wrote for Profiler, 1-800-Missing, Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Her primary work has been that of Producer on Judging Amy, co-executive producer on the short-lived series Heist, and co-executive producer for both Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Nora Kay Foster (Heroes) – Although Nora has been co-executive producer on Heroes for several years, her earlier work included being a writer on Xena: Warrior Princess, The Practice and Kevin Hill. She first became a co-producer on the short-lived series Birds of Prey then she was a producer on Kevin Hill and a supervising producer on the short-lived Night Stalker.

Jennifer Levin (Without A Trace, Brothers & Sisters) – Jennifer began working as both a writer and supervising producer of Felicity, reaching executive producer status at the series a few years later. She then became co-executive producer (and wrote a few episodes) of Without A Trace. Her current work is at Brothers & Sisters as co-executive producer and occasional writer.

Julie Plec (Kyle XY, The Vampire Diaries) – Best known for her work on as co-executive producer and writer on Kyle XY, Julie has previously worked with Kevin Williamson on Scream 2 and 3, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Cursed and his short-lived series Wasteland. That would explain why she is now executive producer alongside Kevin on the new CW series The Vampire Diaries.

Laurie McCarthy (Ghost Whisperer and CSI: Miami) – Getting her start as writer and co-producer at Beverly Hills, 90210 gave Laurie the experience needed to move on to Felicity and CSI: Miami where she worked as executive producer and co-executive producer respectively. She was writer and executive producer of the short-lived series Windfall and is now co-executive producer at Ghost Whisperer.

Doris Egan (House) – She has worked as a writer on shows such as Profiler, Dark Angel, Smallville, Tru Calling and House. But her primary work has been as co-producer for Dark Angel, producer on Smallville, supervising producer on NCIS and co-executive producer on both Numb3rs and Tru Calling. For the past 4 years she has been working on House as co-executive producer.

Clara George (In Plain Sight) – The bulk of Clara’s work has been as producer on a number of made-for-TV movies or mini-series with some of her most recent work being done on Evel Knievel, Flight 93, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and The Andromeda Strain. She worked as a producer on the short-lived series Kojak (in 2005) and is now a producer on In Plain Sight.

Sarah Caplan (Brothers & Sisters) – Sarah’s first work as a producer came on the movie Glory (which starred Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick) where she worked as an associate producer, then she acted as co-producer for the box office movies Leaving Normal and Legends of the Fall. She was then producer on the movie Dangerous Beauty. In 2000 she embarked on a career in producing television shows, starting with the short-lived series The Others. Since then she has been a producer on Felicity, Alias, Lost and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Currently she is co-executive producer for Brothers & Sisters.

Again, this list is just a representation of the incredible women who work as producers in television. The final installment of this series will appear next Monday.

About Rueben

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Castle, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Supernatural, NCIS, Doctor Who, Pretty Little Liars, Drop Dead Diva, Lost Girl, Arrow, When Calls the Heart, Switched at Birth and The Fosters (among others). And, she is enjoying the new fall shows Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow, The Tomorrow People and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as the mid-season shows Intelligence, The 100 and Star-Crossed. She loves to write about all things TV. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.

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