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Marta Kauffman

2016 Outstanding Television Writer award recipient

Marta Kauffman is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning television writer, producer and showrunner. Having earned her BA in Theater Arts at Brandeis University, Kauffman and then-writing partner David Crane – whom she met at Brandeis – got their big break in the early 1990s after two of their television pilots were greenlit, including Dream On (1990) and The Powers That Be (1992). It was during their run as head writers on Dream On that the pair met producer Kevin Bright, with whom they would later launch Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, eventually producing the smash success series, Friends

During its 10-year run (1994-2004), Friends landed 63 Emmy nominations, winning Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002.Bright/Kauffman/Crane also found success in the hit television sitcoms Veronica’s Closet (1997-2000), starring Kirstie Alley, and Jesse (1998-2000), starring Christina Applegate.

In the years following her partnershipKauffman served as Executive Producer for several inspired television projects, including the television series Related (2005-2006), and the widely acclaimed television movies Five (2011) and Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (2013). Both projects featured top-tier female talent in front of and behind the camera, creating short vignettes that focused upon breast cancer and then, two years later, on the subject of mental illness. In 2012 Kauffman also took her first venture into the world of online viewing, writing and directing all three episodes of the series Georgia for the YouTube network for women, Wigs (www.watchwigs.com).

In 2015, Kauffman started her production and development company, OKAY GOODNIGHT, with industry veteran Robbie Tollin and Hannah KS. Their first series, the comedy-drama Grace & Frankie, debuted its second season on Netflix May 6 and is currently in production on Season 3. Kauffman will also direct the first episode of Season 3, the first time she’s directed for the series. Grace & Frankie is co-created with Howard J. Morris and executive produced by David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross for Skydance Productions in addition to Paula Weinstein, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. The series features a dream-team ensemble top-lined by veteran actors Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston in a story about two nemeses, Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), whose husbands (played by Sheen and Waterston) announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married – bringing the women together in a strange and often hilarious twist of fate.

Kauffman also acquired the rights to the best selling novel, “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves,” by Karen Joy Fowler, which was the winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award and is being developed for HBO as a miniseries. In addition to television, Kauffman is also developing feature films and documentary programming.

In February, the Writers Guild of America, West awarded Kauffman and her Friends partner David Crane with the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for lifetime achievement in television writing.

Kauffman is based in Los Angeles, California and has three children, two dogs, two cats and too many horses.