You tune in religiously for that “Mad Men” fix. But what does it take to write a hit TV drama? In this panel discussion, meet the people who do it every day. We’ll talk to three successful TV drama writers and find out how they broke into the biz. They’ll share behind-the-scenes stories of working with all-star actors and their secrets for creating episodes that are so gripping, they keep viewers tuning in week after week. They’ll also give tips for thriving in the writer’s room and creating a compelling spec pilot that will please even the most critical exec.


Panelists: Michael Saltzman (“Mad Men”, “Murphy Brown”), Jason Grote (“Mad Men”, “Smash”), and William Rabkin (“Psych”, “Monk”)

Friday, May 17, 2013

8:00 – 9:30 p.m.


Michael+Saltzman+2014+Writers+Guild+Awards+hst0Mj403NNlAbout Michael Saltzman

Michael Saltzman currently serves as a writer and Consulting Producer on the multi-Emmy-winning AMC drama, “Mad Men.” He has written for numerous TV shows, including NBC’s “Wings,” CBS’s “Murphy Brown,” which he ran in its final seasons, and NBC’s “The Naked Truth,” which he also ran in its final season. Michael was also the Co-Executive producer on NBC’s “DAG.” He created and was the Executive Producer on “Baby Bob” for Viacom and CBS. He received an Emmy nomination for “Murphy Brown.” In features, he was the original writer on the first “The Pink Panther” movie starring Steve Martin and directed by Shawn Levy. Michael is an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches a course in writing for television. He holds a BA from Yale University and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School Of Journalism.


Jason GroteAbout Jason Grote:

Jason Grote’s television writing credits include “Mad Men” and “Smash.” As a playwright, his work has been produced and developed at Lincoln Center, Sundance, The O’Neill, Playwrights’ Horizons, Woolly Mammoth, New York Theater Workshop, Soho Rep, Clubbed Thumb, The Denver Center, ACT, Portland Center Stage, The Civilians, Baltimore Centerstage, Salvage Vanguard, and elsewhere. He is a member of New Dramatists and the 2006 P73 Playwriting Fellow, and his plays are published by Samuel French. He has taught writing at Rutgers, Carnegie Mellon, The National Theater Institute, LAByrinth Theater Company, The New School, The University of Wisconsin, Queens College/CUNY, Hollins University, Whitman College, The University of Rochester, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU.


william rabkinAbout William Rabkin:

William Rabkin has written and/or produced hundreds of hours of dramatic television. He served as showrunner on the long-running Dick Van Dyke mystery series “Diagnosis Murder” and on the action-adventure spectacle “Martial Law.” His many writing and producing credits include “The Glades,” “Monk,” “Psych, “Nero Wolfe,” “Missing,” “Spenser: For Hire,” “seaQuest 2032,” “Hunter” and “The Cosby Mysteries”. He has also written a dozen network TV pilots. His work has been nominated twice for the Edgar Award for best television episode by the Mystery Writers of America. He has written two books on writing for television, Successful Television Writing (2003), with Lee Goldberg and Writing The Pilot (2011). Bill is also the author of the novels “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read,” “Mind Over Magic,” “The Call of the Mild,” “A Fatal Frame of Mind” and “Mind-Altering Murder.” He is the co-creator and co-editor of “The Dead Man,” a monthly series of supernatural action thrillers published by Amazon’s 47North imprint, and has written two installments. He is part of the core faculty of the University of California, Riverside-Palm Desert’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts, and has lectured on television writing and production all over the world.