Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is shone on executive producers, series developers and writers Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin.
Both ladies have been working in the entertainment industry since about the mid-90’s with Jennifer getting her start as a writer and story editor on Chicago Hope from 1995 to 1997 while Sherri worked on the short projects called Second Skin, NY Valentine and Packing for Two in 1998 and 1999.
In 1998, Jennifer landed a position with the acclaimed WB series Felicity, working first as a writer and eventually moving up the ranks as a supervising producer, co-producer, co-executive producer and executive producer over the course of the shows’ run on the network, ending in 2002. During that time period, Jennifer was also a writer on a made-for-TV movie called Sorority that starred a then unknown Jennifer Jones and Christina Hendricks (both from Mad Men) as well as Sarah Lancaster (Everwood and Chuck).
During the early part of the 2000’s, Sherri worked as a writer on the TV series American Dreams in 2002, a writer and story editor on the short-lived Alicia Silverstone series Miss Match in 2003and she wrote the teleplay for a 2004 TV movie called My Sexiest Mistake.
Sherri followed up those projects with a staff position on the acclaimed WB series Everwood in 2004 and 2005, working as an executive story editor and writer eventually becoming a co-producer on the show. Meanwhile, Jennifer worked as a writer and co-executive producer on Without a Trace from 2003 to 2005; and for a brief time Jennifer worked as a writer on the short-lived 2008 series Life Is Wild.
In 2007, Sherri joined the staff of the long-running ABC series Brothers & Sisters which Jennifer joined the following year. They both worked as writers for the show and held different positions over the years until 2010. Jennifer was a co-executive producer for one season and a consulting producer for another while Sherri was a producer for several seasons and a consulting producer for the same year as Jennifer.
It was at this time – in 2010 – that they teamed up for developing projects – even though they are not a formal writing team. They worked as writers and consulting producers on the short-lived 2011 TV series Unforgettable and then developed a potential pilot called Applebaum that was not picked up. It was, however, their other development – the reboot of the 1980’s classic TV series Beauty and the Beast – that was picked up for the 2012-2013 season. Besides being the series developers for this new CW drama, Sherri and Jennifer are writers and executive producers along with former Smallville writers and executive producers Kelli Sounders and Brian Peterson.
And, it is thanks to their work on Beauty And the Beast that Sherri and Jennifer have signed an overall two-year deal with CBS Studios, the studio behind the revamped series.