Friday Fact-File - TV Writers: #1 Ryan Murphy - Raindance

In recognition of Raindance’s upcoming TV Writer’s Summit, everyone here at Raindance HQ has been talking about their favourite television shows – old, new and upcoming. As well as that, we, the intern crew, have been trying to write up articles to do with all of the above.

So, in contribution to that, I’ve come up with an article series where I’ll be writing up mini biographies on TV writers and their works and how they started, every Friday until April 5th.

For screenwriters, it seems that the place to be is T.V.

The possibilities are endless, and the ability to succeed is incredibly likely, especially when working in a team. Screenwriting successes are particularly evident in shows such as the ever popular Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Orange Is The New Black… and then some. The list is near endless.

So let’s take a look at some in the business and see how they compare.

1. Ryan Murphy


DOB: November 30th 1965 (Age 48)

First TV break: 1999 (Age 34)

Ryan Murphy graduated in 1983 with a degree in Journalism, and started out as a reporter for The Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly.

In his spare time he persevered with his ambitions in film and screenwriting, and in the late 1990’s, Steven Spielberg bought Murphy’s feature screenplay, titled ‘Why Can’t I be Audrey Hepburn?‘. The film went into development and had Jennifer Love Hewitt down for the lead, but it was never finished.

In 1999 he got his break with a TV show called Popular which ran on the Warner Brothers Network for two seasons.

To date, Murphy has 14 writing credits, his most successful TV shows being Nip/Tuck, Glee and incredibly popular anthology series American Horror Story.

As a writer, Murphy seems to be one of the most versatile out there today. The ability to construct such variation, and with such precision, is impressive and incredibly appealing.

It seems that not only is he likely to venture into every genre, but he is likely to conquer them too.

“I started off as a journalist when I was young and I did not get paid unless I wrote three stories a day.”

“Tone is everything in TV.”