School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

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Jennifer Robinson, M.F.A.

Part-Time Lecturer

Email: pstark@cinema.usc.edu
Work Phone: 213.740.3304

Jennifer Robinson is an L.A.-based television screenwriter who's spent her entire career immersed in stories and storytelling. After graduating cum laude from Vassar College, she spent a brief stint in print journalism before deciding to pursue cinema studies at Columbia University's Film School. While completing her M.F.A., Robinson began script reading for production companies including Imagine and Tri-Star. She was also hired by a boutique literary agency in New York to provide editorial assistance to clients. She eventually became an agent, representing many first-time writers. She not only secured book deals for her clients, but has also helped them complete, re-write and polish non-fiction book proposals and novels.

In 1998, she left publishing—and New York—to work for Imagine Television in Los Angeles as a development and current executive. During her tenure at Imagine, Jennifer worked on and/or developed shows as varied as Felicity, Sports Night, The PJs, Wonderland and 24. When she came up with an idea for a show about three sisters who take over their father’s multi-national corporation—King Lear as a contemporary comedy—and couldn’t get any of the networks interested, Robinson decided to team up with a friend (Dyanne Stempel) to write the script herself. The feature screenplay that resulted, Hostile Makeover, was ultimately purchased by Universal. Robinson & Stempel both quit their “day jobs” to pursue writing full time.

During their partnership, the team wrote scripts for most of the major studios. Offspring Productions (Adam Shankman) bought their first original pitch, The Fiance, for Disney. They subsequently sold Rebound Guy to Hugh Jackman with 20th Century Fox and another original pitch, Frenemies, to Paramount. They also sold pilots to NBC (Glass Ceiling) and ABC (a half-hour comedy adaptation of the book Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office).

Robinson now works on her own and has sold one-hour drama pilots to ABC (Countdown* and The Heiress), Lifetime (Perfect Match) and the CW (Alter Ego).

*Co-written with Marc Guggenheim