Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is shone on TV producer and writer Elizabeth “Liz” Heldens.
Liz got her start in the industry as a writer and an executive producer on a 2000 made-for-TV movie called Damaged Goods before getting a job on the FOX drama Boston Public. She was an executive story editor and co-producer and later a writer and associate producer on the show.
In 2004, she was a writer and producer on the short-lived FOX drama North Shore that starred Jason Mamoa (Stargate: Atlantis and Conan), Nikki DeLoach (Awkward), Brooke Burns (Melrose Place) and Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected and Ringer) [among others]. That same year, she was a writer and executive producer on the TV short called Mystery Girl that was about a magazine writer investigating mysteries involving the rich and famous that starred Grant Show (the original Melrose Place), Erik Palladino (666 Park Avenue), Tom Lenk (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Alexandra Breckenridge (American Horror Story).
Two years later, she was a writer and supervising producer on the short-lived series Pepper Dennis that starred Rebecca Romijn and Josh Hopkins (Cougar Town). It was her next job that really made the difference, though, as she worked as a writer and supervising producer on the acclaimed series Friday Night Lights, eventually moving up to co-executive producer on the show. It was her work on this fan favorite series that earned her several Writers Guild of America nominations. She also parlayed her time working as a writer, in 2007, on the short-lived NBC reboot of Bionic Woman.
It was in 2009 that she created the NBC medical drama Mercy, working as a writer and executive producer on the short-lived series that starred Taylor Schilling (the box office films The Lucky One and Argo), James Tupper (Revenge), Diego Klattenhoff (Homeland), Michelle Tractenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gossip Girl) and Guillermo Diaz (Scandal).
The next season she worked on two other short-lived shows, including Love Bites and Prime Suspect. She was a co-executive producer on Love Bites and a consulting producer and writer on Prime Suspect.
As the new year is almost upon us, Liz will be the executive producer and writer on the new NBC drama Deception, a series which she also created, that is set to debut on January 7. The series follows a female detective (played by Meagan Good from the box office film Think Like a Man), who returns undercover to the wealthy family she grew up in – as the maid’s daughter – to solve the murder of the notorious heiress who was once her closest friend. Among the cast of this film are Tate Donovan (The O.C. and Damages), Katherine LaNasa (Longmire), Laz Alonso (Breakout Kings), Marin Hinkle (Two and a Half Men), Wes Brown (True Blood and Hart of Dixie) and Victor Garber (Alias and Eli Stone).