Sitcom Writer

Sitcom Writer

SitcomWriter

Los Angeles, CA

Female, 33

For over ten years, I’ve had the extreme pleasure of being staffed on several half-hour network sitcoms, rising in the ranks from Staff Writer to Co-Executive producer. My writing partner and I are now developing our own material.

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Last Answer on December 19, 2012

Best Rated

What types of shows have you written for?

Asked by Netta_D about 6 years ago

I’ve written everything from crappy multi-cameras that didn't make it through the first season, to Emmy award-winning single-cameras that I am proud to have on my resume.

Any notable downsides to being a sitcom writer?

Asked by Jerry2011 about 6 years ago

I have my dream job and I still hate it about half the time. The hours suck. Plus it's very hard when you really love a joke or an idea and your boss says “no.”

When did you know you wanted to become a TV writer? Which shows inspired you most?

Asked by Wes over 5 years ago

In high school, I was talking to a friend who mentioned she wanted to be a doctor more than anything in the world. I assumed she meant anything in the world except a TV writer. Nope. She actually wanted to be a doctor. Up until that moment, I just assumed everyone would write TV if they could, just like everyone would rather be rich or thin. But since this was the real world and I was middle-class and chunky, I would settle for veterinarian. As soon as I realized this passion of mine was unique (ish), I never looked back (though I'm still chunky). There were a lot of shows I loved growing up: The Simpsons, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Strangers with Candy, Mr. Show ... but I think what really helped my sense of humor was watching stand-up comedians with my dad when I was really young. I'd use his stomach as a pillow and I knew something was funny when my head would shake from his laughter.

Charlie Sheen chaos aside, what on EARTH is so special about "Two-and-a-Half Men" that's made it as successful as it's been? Seems just as by-the-numbers as the next sitcom, what is it that's created such a huge audience?

Asked by JP about 6 years ago

Sometimes I like to be the bigger person and think why do I get to decide what sitcom is funny/original/worth the ratings? I mean if millions -MILLIONS- of people love Two and a Half Men they can't all be wrong. Then I watch Two and a Half Men - and I'm as stumped as you are. My best guess is that it's easy. You get home from a hard day at the office and sometimes it's nice to not have to think. The characters are basic. You know what they're going to do. The plot lines are easy to follow. You know what's going to happen. And it's chock full of extremely dirty jokes that we're not allowed to do on other shows so it send those "They went there" shivers down your spine. Also there are fart jokes.

Do you prefer to write solo, or in collaboration with a group?

Asked by Junebug77 about 6 years ago

If you want to write solo, write dramas or movies. Comedy is a communal effort. Yes, you do get to write alone sometimes, but that just feels like a little break where you get to sleep in and type in your underwear. The majority of your time is being surrounded by very funny people eating snacks.

Do most sitcom writers start by being a writer's room PA or Writer's assistant?

Asked by funnygirl about 6 years ago

Short answer -If not most at least a good chunk. If you're starting from scratch it is the easiest (not easy) way to get on a staff. Most of the shows I've been on the most senior writers' assistant gets to write a script. If it's good you might even get moved up to staff writer. At the least you learn the ins and outs of a writers' room. You meet all the writers and if you have any talent we are all dying to help you out. (that is 100% sarcasm free - we know how hard the assistants work and we want them to succeed) I would say the second most common way to get your foot in the door is through one of the fellowships or writing programs some of the networks and studios offer.

Given the explosion of so many great hour-long dramas (e.g. Breaking Bad, Homeland, Justified), is there any concern that shows like these will start eating into sitcom audiences?

Asked by walterwhite about 6 years ago

No. You know what's funny? When I started working in sitcoms (about 10 years ago) I was told I just missed the sitcom Boom. The era of Friends and Seinfeld etc. where sitcoms were king, sitcom writers got huge deals and you had your pick of jobs. It's not like that anymore. It hasn't been for a long, long time. But recently I've seen sitcoms getting a little more heat. Modern Family - CBS's whole line up - The New Girl. Sitcoms are getting ratings again. So I would say it's kind of the reverse of the question. I have faith sitcoms are making a resurgence.