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12 Black women controlling the television!


Former co-executive producer from the long-running ABC nighttime drama Grey’s Anatomy, a producer on House of Lies and writer on sudser Revenge, Karen Gist began writing for television on the comedy classic Girlfriends. Gist, is now running the show, overseeing the writing and entire production responsibilities at Star, the drama series about a girl group’s takeover of the Atlanta music scene. Gist is a graduate of Spellman College and Georgetown law School. Gist said, one thing she love most about what she does is having platform to use her “Big Black, gay voice” to tell stories that make people think. Gist has also been tapped to write the third sequel to Sister Act along with the Insecure writer Regina Hicks.

Shonda Rhimes first foray into television, Grey’s Anatomy, was originally a midseason replacement at ABC and not expected to do very well. The show beat the odds and became the cultural phenomenon doing much to increase the confidence of Hollywood that, Black women can make sprawling dramas with gripping storylines and characters that are universally relatable. Grey’s Anatomy has since become the longest-running medical drama in television history!

Janine Sherman Barrois had been a television writer and producer for highly acclaimed television classics such as ET, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Criminal Minds. Barrios came out of the Warner Bros. writing workshop and gears to have a production deal with that studio for the dark comedy show Claws. Others women showrunners are Courtney Kemp, Yvette Lee Bowser, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Ayanna Floyd Davis, Tanya Hamilton, Dee Harris-Lawrence, Aida Mashaka Croal, Elle Johnson, and Tracy Oliver.

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