HU was launched by television writer Jessica Butler to answer the FAQ of aspiring screenwriters.
To submit a question or contribute to HU, email HollywoodUniversityBlog@gmail.com.
Butler began her career during her freshman year of college, landing dual internships at As The World Turns (CBS Daytime) and TeleNext Media, Inc. in New York City. Two years later, she spent the summer in L.A. interning with the development department at Beacon Pictures. She graduated from Webster University in 2004 with a B.A. in screenwriting and worked as a set PA for NBC Action News at her hometown station, KSHB in Kansas City.
Butler relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 and landed a PA position on According To Jim just four days after her arrival, which led to a promotion the following season to assistant to the line producer.
She spent a year reviewing budgets and contracts for ABC Studio’s finance department, then returned to the creative side of the business as assistant to the executive producers of USA Network’s, In Plain Sight. During her second week on the job, she sold a story idea to the show’s creator. She was promoted to staff writer the following season.
In 2010, she and her husband, Warren Bell, sold a multi-cam comedy to Nick at Nite based on her experiences as a new stepmother. In addition, she developed a one-hour medical drama with producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Tantamount Studios) and showrunner Pam Veasey (Ringer, CSI: NY).
In 2011, she co-wrote WANTED, a modern-day western, with Andy Weil (Berman Braun) and Aaron Kaplan attached to produce. She also developed a second medical drama with the Tannenbaums and actor Michael Landes, based on the book Match Day: One Day and One Dramatic Year in the Lives of Three New Doctors.
In 2012, she served as Supervising Producer on her Nick at Nite pilot, Instant Mom, starring Tia Mowry. She also co-wrote N.O.A.H., a modern-day retelling of the Noah’s Ark story.
She is currently a writer on TNT’s The Last Ship.
Butler lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two stepsons. She is repped by The Gersh Agency and Artist International.