Monday, October 1, 2012

Interview with TV writer Liz Tigelaar, creator of "Life Unexpected" - Part 1: Breaking in as an assistant

Liz Tigelaar is a prolific television writer who has been working for over a decade.  After getting her start as a writer's assistant on Dawson's Creek, she went on to join the staffs of several successful TV shows, including American Dreams, Kyle XY, What About Brian, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money, Once Upon a Time and Revenge. She was also the creator and show-runner of the CW's Life Unexpected.

Suffice to say, Liz has the sort of career that most aspiring TV writers dream of having.  Currently she's working on ABC's Nashville and also is developing a pilot for Bravo based on the David Duchovney movie The Joneses.

I was lucky enough to interview Liz recently, and the result was an interview that I hope you'll find interesting whether or not you're familiar with her work. All this week I'll be posting interview segments where Liz discusses writing for television, climbing the ladder, and running a show.  And don't worry, if you're a fan of Life Unexpected, I took the opportunity to ask Liz about a few things I brought up in this older post of mine.

In this segment of the interview, Liz talks about how she got her start as a writer's assistant, and how that led to her first script assignment in TV, writing a significant episode of Dawson's Creek, the season three episode "Show Me Love."  Dawson fans might remember this as the infamous boat-race episode where Pacey and Dawson compete for Joey's affections.

For anyone looking to break into TV, this is a must see!

Part 2 - First Staff Writer Job on "American Dreams"
Part 3 - How Do I Get an Agent?
Part 4 - Selling a Pilot
Part 5 - Personal Themes in Writing
Part 6 - Genesis of "Life Unexpected"
Part 7 - First-Time Showrunner
Part 8 - Developing the second year of LUX
Part 9 - Dealing with network notes
Part 10 - Controversial LUX storylines
Part 11 - LUX lives on
Part 12 - Network overall deal, working on Once Upon a Time and Revenge
Part 13 - The Bitter Questions

1 comment:

  1. Just stumbled on this. Great interview-

    Good to see and hear when a writer becomes successful going the traditional route.

    I feel like a lot of folks think breaking into "Hollywood" is an experience synonymous with winning the lottery when it's really working hard and doing your time before getting recognition.

    Thumbs up.