Presented in partnership with Stephen’s College
In contrast with the film industry, women’s voices have enjoyed more representation in television over the years. Yet, there is still more work to be done. Join us for an in depth discussion with leading female showrunners focusing on their role from start to finish, breaking the glass ceiling, and what its like to helm the ship.
Alexa Junge (Grace & Frankie, Friends)
Jessica Goldberg (The Path)
Jessika Borsickzy (House of Lies)
Moderator: Debra Birnbaum (Executive Editor, Variety)
Alexa Junge grew up in Los Angeles and attended Barnard College, where she wrote The Varsity Show with David Rakoff and Jeanine Tesori. After receiving her MFA in NYU’s Dramatic Writing program, Junge wrote for Friends from 1994 to 1999. Her popular episode, “The One Where Everybody Finds Out”, earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Writing for a Comedy Series, and has been cited in Atlantic Magazine as a proven “mood booster”. Other television work includes: Grace and Frankie (Executive Producer and Writer), Best Friends Forever (Showrunner), The United States of Tara (Showrunner), The West Wing (Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, WGA nomination for Best Episodic Drama, “Disaster Relief”), and Sex and the City.
Jessica Goldberg is the creator and showrunner for all 3 seasons of Hulu’s drama series The Path. Other television writing credits include NBC’s Parenthood, ABC’s pilot The Prince of Motor City, and she’s currently developing a pilot for NBC based on Joseph Finder’s thriller, “Suspicion.” Goldberg’s film credits include the adaptation of her play Refuge and Alex of Venice directed by Chris Messina, and she's currently adapting Moshin Hamid's Booker-nominated book "Exit West," for Morten Tylden to direct.
A graduate of NYU’s Dramatic Writing Program and The Juilliard School, Goldberg began her career as a playwright. Her play Refuge premiered at Playwrights’ Horizons (Off-Broadway, NYC) and won the 1999 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Jessika Borsiczky began her career in HBO’s movie division, going on to oversee some of the network’s high-profile and acclaimed projects, including If These Walls Could Talk and 61*. Later, she ran director Jan de Bont’s film production company, Blue Tulip. Borsiczky followed up her tenure there as co-head of Gavin Polone’s production company, where she produced a diverse slate of television pilots and series, including the NBC drama mini-series Revelations; the highly-rated The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search; and the Cheech Marin comedy and The Ortegas for Fox. Her film work there included producing the horror film, Population 436, starring Jeremy Sisto. Since forming her own production company, Refugee Productions, Borsiczky’s projects have included The Promotion, a comedy written and directed by Steven Conrad starring John C. Reilly and Seann William Scott. In addition she produced the horror movie hit, The Unborn, with Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes. Now focused on writing, directing, and running television programs, she Executive Produced ABC’s FlashForward and Showtime's House Of Lies, starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell for five seasons, where she both wrote and directed on the series. This year Borsiczky Executive Produced and directed season four of Lifetime's critically acclaimed scripted series, UnReal.
Debra Birnbaum is executive editor for Variety and helms all features, news, analysis and their expansive awards coverage. In addition, she hosts Variety’s popular Remote Controlled podcast. She joined Variety after seven years with TV Guide Magazine, where she held the position of President/Editor-in-Chief. She revitalized the classic brand with innovations like the annual “Fan Favorites” cover contest, the Comic-Con photo studio, and the “Hot List” franchise and party. She appears frequently on TV as an entertainment expert, and regularly moderates panels for the TV Academy, Screen Actors Guild and the Paley Center for Media. She has also worked for Redbook, George, More, the New York Post and Us Weekly, among other outlets.