ABC Family and the CW have found their niche in the vast TV landscape by courting teens and young femmes with drama series that turn on tales of first loves, broken hearts, bitchy backstabbers and fabulously dressed vixens.
The boom in young-adult-centric scripted shows on the cabler and the netlet promise to have a strong impact on the creative community in the coming years, as demand for glossy sudsers that speak to young women opens doors at high levels for female writer-producers.
Most significantly, femme scribes are getting opportunities to serve as showrunners and exec producers that would not likely be available on the Big Four and larger cable nets. That means a new generation of women are gaining vital experience that should go a long way, over time, toward swelling the ranks of femmes working at the top of TV's food chain.
Industry observers compare the current boomlet for femme scribes with the job opportunities that opened for African-American writers and producers a decade ago when the WB Network and UPN both programmed comedy blocks stocked with shows aimed largely at African-American viewers.
Julie Plec, exec producer and co-showrunner of CW's "The Vampire Diaries," seized her moment a few years ago when she was working as a producer on the ABC Family dramedy "Kyle XY." She'd had a range of experience as a producer and exec, but was not a writer per se, and not even a member of the WGA. But when the show got behind on scripts, the exec producers pressed her into service because she had been such a driving force on …