First Draft Episode #238: Sarah Watson
Sarah Watson is a television writer, producer, and novelist. She’s the creator of the Freeform series, The Bold Type, and was a Writer and Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed NBC drama, Parenthood. She has also written for About A Boy, Lipstick Jungle,The Unusuals, and The Middleman, as well as other series. Her debut novel, Most Likely, is out now.
Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode
- Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
- Sarah basically wrote a book report for the movie War Games
- Felicity (TV show) was a game changer for hour-long dramas, and Dawson’s Creek and Buffy. Before that there was mostly just Thirtysomething
- Sarah was an intern with someone named Damon Lindeloff, who went on to create LOST, The Leftovers, and Watchmen
- That’s so Raven was one of Sarah’s very first jobs out of college
- Eileen Heisler (executive producer of How I Met Your Mother and The Middle) and DeAnn Heline (producer on Murphy Brown and executive producer Ellen), the women behind Lipstick Jungle
- The Middleman is where Sarah met Javier Grillo-Marxuach
- Jason Katims, showrunner and executive producer of Friday Night Lights (created by Peter Berg, based on the book Friday Night Lights written by Pulitzer Prize winner H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger [not for nothing but the documentary Buzz was fascinating]) was the creator, showrunner, and executive producer for Parenthood
- The 1989 film Parenthood, written by Lowell Ganz (who also wrote Splash and A League of Their Own, among others) and Babaloo Mandel (who also wrote City Slickers, A League of Their Own, and Forget Paris)
- In the writing room for Beyond the Break there were only three writers
- Sarah shadowed Joanna Coles in researching for The Bold Type
- The Bold Type was originally at NBC in a more West Wing style iteration before it settled into Sarah’s vision at Freeform
- What Happened by Hilary Clinton
- Kate Testerman at KT Literary is Sarah’s agent
- The Deadline announcement for Sarah’s new TV show, about a The Goonies remake
- Sarah got the chance to create her new TV show with Gail Berman, Chairman and CEO of The Jackal Group, an independent production entity formed in partnership with Fox Networks Group.
- Richard Donner, the director of The Goonies, Superman, Lethal Weapon, Scrooged, and more
- Greg Motolla, director of Superbad and Adventureland, is directing Sarah’s pilot
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Every Tuesday, I speak to storytellers like Veronica Roth, author of Divergent; Linda Holmes, author and host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast; Jonny Sun, internet superstar, illustrator of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gmorning, Gnight! and author and illustrator of Everyone’s an Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too; Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender; John August, screenwriter of Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; or Rhett Miller, musician and frontman for The Old 97s. Together, we take deep dives on their careers and creative works.
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