Women Behind the Scenes Spotlight: Joan Rater

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Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is shone on Television Producer and Writer Joan Rater.

Joan is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is married to fellow producer and writer Tony Phelan.

Joan first worked as a writer on the short-lived 2002 shows MDs and Push, Nevada. She then followed those up with the short-lived 2003 series 10-8 where she worked as an executive story editor and Threat Matrix where she worked as an executive story editor and writer.

In 2005, she was a writer on the Lifetime movie Haunting Sarah (along with her husband) and worked as a writer and co-producer on the one-season long series Law & Order: Trial by Jury.

It was in 2006 when things changed for Joan, as she joined the writing staff of Grey’s Anatomy. She and her husband worked on that long-running drama through 2014 where she served as a producer then a supervising producer, later a co-executive producer and eventually an executive producer.

In 2014, she moved over to the writing staff of Madam Secretary where she also served as a consulting producer. This past TV season, she was to serve as an executive producer on the drama Drew, but the series was not picked up by any network.

She will serve as a writer and executive producer, alongside her husband, in the 2017 drama Doubt that will star former Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl and Orange Is the New Black alum Laverne Cox.

An official airdate has yet to be announced for Doubt but it is expecting to debut later this TV season on CBS.

Please check out some of our previous Women Behind the Scenes Spotlights including Dana Calvo, Liz Friedlander, Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz and Sheryl J. Anderson.

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 Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at